CANTON, Mich. (WJBK) - The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Canton Wednesday evening. No one was injured, but many volunteers are working this Christmas Eve to clean up the debris. The National Weather Service says this is the first December tornado in Michigan since records began in 1950.
Canton's Public Safety Department says the tornado had a peak wind of 90mph, and a path length of 2 miles. It also reached a maximum width of 300 ft.
For more information on the EF1 rating from the NWS, click here.
The powerful system packed a punch, shutting down the Canton-Plymouth-Mettetal Airport, something that rarely happens.
Nearly two dozen volunteers with the civil air patrol were out first thing Christmas Eve morning carefully carrying away any debris.
"We've noticed roof panels, insulation, some tree branches and stuff, but mostly building materials," says Lt. Colonel Mario Accardo, civil air patrol.
None of the airplanes kept at the airport were damaged, nor were any of the hangers from the 50 plus mile per hour winds that blew through. Those gusts ripped the roofs off of several buildings in the industrial area near Lilley and Joy roads, lifted vehciles right off the ground and knocked over anything its path.
"I had a call from the alarm company that several of our zones had been activated, and we had a warehouse man came in and said our bay door had been blown off the hinges," says general manager Rick Pochowicz. A hole now hovers overhead at Midwest Moving and Storage as the business works to get someone in quickly to cover it during the holiday.
At the neary Mobile gas station on Haggerty, damage is estimated at more than $100,000. Parts of the overhang came down just feet from customers, but all the pumps were somehow spared.
"Very lucky that without any warning nobody was injured," says Pochowicz.
A member of the civil air patrol hopes to have the airport open by noon on Christmas Eve.
Roughly 10,000 customers still are without power.