LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Emergency crews continue sifting through debris and cleaning up widespread damage after Thursday’s catastrophic storm.
Officials said they still don’t have an exact number of injuries or the extent of damage as it could take weeks or even months to evaluate everything.
“At 21:34 hours a tornado was reported on I-96 working its way eastbound along the highway to Williamston toward Webberville,” Ingham County Sheriff, Scott Wriggelsworth said.
An EF-2 tornado along with severe thunderstorms ripped through parts of mid-Michigan leaving behind widespread damage.
“During this time, we also received multiple calls of structural damage to homes, barns and outbuildings,” Sheriff Wriggelsworth said.
Officials said it will take weeks or even months to clear up roads and neighborhoods that look like this. And on top of all the damage–many people have been injured and some have died.
“At one time last night we encountered 17 overturned semis on I-96 as well as multiple cars damaged form the weather event. Several patients were being reported as critical, many more with minor injuries and or no injuries. Sadly, one fatality was reported on scene when a 40-year-old male subject from the Grand Rapids area was found deceased in his vehicle,” Sheriff Wriggelsworth said.
Video and pictures taken of the damage from the tornado near Williamston. Also pictures of I-96 vehicle crashes from the tornado. The pictures were provided by MSP Aviation pic.twitter.com/SZueieBqkC— MSP First District (@MSPFirstDist) August 25, 2023
Today, hundreds of first responders are still on the ground assessing damage and helping those in need.
“I’d like to take a second to thank our partners who are still out working trying to mitigate the situation. This was a quick turnaround time for many heroes in the area who worked all night grabbed a couple hours of sleep and are back at it right now and some of these heroes haven’t even gone to bed yet.”
The Michigan Department of Transportation announced shortly after 8 p.m. tonight Eastbound I-96 at Williamston Rd., Exit 117 was open to traffic in all lanes.