The devastating EF2 tornado that tore through Portage and surrounding areas on May 7th left a trail of destruction in its wake.

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With winds reaching up to 135 mph, the 11-mile path carved by the tornado left at least 60 buildings being destroyed and another 129 sustaining major damage.

While there were a few minor injuries reported, fortunately, no fatalities occurred.

In response to the severe weather, the community has rallied together to support everyone affected.

Gryphon Place, a local organization, has established a donation center at 9246 Portage Industrial Drive off Shaver Road to aid those in need.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is accepting a wide range of essential items.

Accepted Donations

The donation center is accepting

  • first aid supplies
  • baby/infant and new/expecting mother materials
  • paper products
  • repackaging/moving materials
  • hygiene items
  • cleaning supplies
  • household items
  • pet supplies
  • recovery and building supplies
  • bulk water.

Monetary donations in the form of $50 gift cards to Meijer, Target, or Walmart are also welcomed.

Assistance for Affected Residents

The City of Portage has launched a Donations Hotline at 269.251.2211, where affected residents can call to request specific items and arrange for pickup or delivery by volunteers.

For food assistance, residents can contact Loaves & Fishes at 269.343.3663 or email info@kzoolf.org.

Goodwill is also accepting applications for vouchers to help replace lost items at gethelp@goodwillswmi.org.

The Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the United Way of South Central Michigan have established disaster relief funds to support recovery efforts.

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Here are some of the worst cases of tornadoes in Michigan’s history as the Lansing State Journal documents on their map

2024 Michigan County By County Tornado Risk Projections

Roof Gnome, using FEMA data and analyzing nearly 950 counties throughout the United States at moderate to high risk for tornados, was able to rank 34 Michigan counties for storm risks in 2024 and projected financial impact. Here's a county-by-county look at Michigan's Tornano Vulnerability.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow