Lakeshore has had tornadoes in past

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Most have been relatively tame F-0 and F-1 storms, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jared Maples.

Others in Ottawa County have left fatalities in their path, like the 1956 twister in the southern part of the county that bulldozed death and destruction for miles.

Maples said he is not aware of any real-time photos of the tornadoes in these parts.

“I suppose it’s not only due to the era it happened, but because it also happened so quickly,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of time for people to snap any pictures with the big chunky things that existed in those times.”

Here’s the spin on Lakeshore-area tornadoes since 1950, beginning with the most recent:

*May 30, 1991 – Tame by tornado standards, an F-1 moved into the Spring Lake area at 7:45 p.m. The small twister touched down briefly on Woodcrest Street, causing minor damage to one home and knocking down trees. There were no injuries or fatalities.

*Aug. 9, 1979 – An F-1 tornado hit near Grand Haven’s Harbor Island. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

*Sept. 4, 1965 – An F-2 was recorded in Robinson Township near Stearns Bayou. It tracked northeast across Green Street and the Grand River before fading near Nunica. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

*April 11, 1965 – An F-4 roared into Ottawa County, causing five deaths and injuring 142. The twister touched down near Lamont, northwest of 48th Avenue and Leonard Street. It then tracked eastward north of Walker before turning northeast over Comstock Park. It finally lifted a few miles southeast of Cedar Springs.

*Three tornadoes spun about, including an F-5 that blew through West Michigan, on Palm Sunday 1956. The April 3 mega-tornado formed in Allegan County near Saugatuck and tracked on a northeastern path through the southeastern portions of Ottawa County south of Zeeland. The twister wiped out parts of Standale and finally lifted east of Trufant. By the time the tornado subsided, 17 people were dead and 292 were injured.

Recommended for You

    Grand Haven Tribune Videos