Storm rips through Ottawa County

Swirling winds, blinding rain, thunder and lightning ripped through Ottawa County about 2:30 p.m., knocking down trees, flooding roads and starting house fires.
Becky Vargo
Nov 17, 2013

Lines of vehicles traveled through Grand Haven State Park to watch the wind-whipped waves as police responded to a call on a possible person swept off the south pier shortly after 2 p.m.

While onsite, the severe thunderstorm hit shore, making it impossible to see anything. The Coast Guard lifeboat on the scene rushed back to the station.

Officials were not able to verify anybody went into the water and cleared the scene.

The storm that hit about 2:30 p.m. blew down trees and lightning strikes caused possible house fires in Grand Haven and Port Sheldon Townships.

Emergency personnel from most area police and fire departments rushed to the various scenes including a report of a tree on a house in the 300 block of Fifth Street.

“It looked like a hurricane coming down the street,” said John Boyer, who lives across the street.

“I was in the back yard trying to get stuff out of my car and it hit like in a split second,” he said.

Boyer was walking to the front when he said the storm hit.

“You couldn’t see. The wind was doing like this,” he noted swirling his arm. “Then I saw a flash through the rain.”

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety officers responding pointed out the uprooted tree pulled the mast off the house.

Nobody inside the house was injured.

Trees were also reported down at the intersection of Robbins Road and 163rd Avenue, on 177th Avenue just south of Lakeshore and across the 300 block of Lafayette Street, among others.

Police warned to stay back from fallen wires and unstable trees or poles that have fallen on lines.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Send your storm photos and information on location and what happened to: news@grandhaventribune.com.

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