Dakota Dada said tree branches started flying and everyone ducked when a storm blew onto shore with gusto late Sunday morning.
The strong winds took down some trees, moved heavy picnic tables and caused scattered power outages that were still being repaired late Sunday afternoon.
Dada, a crewmember on Capt. C.J. Anastor’s Good Eye Charters, said they were helping other charter boats get into their slips ahead of the storm that came onshore just before 11 a.m.
“We were on the boat when that came through,” Dada said. “When it rolled in, it (the sky) got black. We got on our hands and knees. We couldn’t see anything.”
Russell Roberts saw the forecast and waited to put out umbrellas and flags at the Dairy Cream ice cream stand at the Chinook Pier.
They would have been gone, he admitted, noting that blast of wind coming up the channel moved a heavy picnic table several feet and tossed another smaller table.
The winds were so strong, that it was raining sideways. Roberts said he couldn’t even see the nearby railing out his west window at the time.
In the same area of the Chinook Pier shops, small trees and lots of branches blew down.
“We fished out (from the Grand River) five dock boxes, a grill and lots of trash,” Dada said. “It moved big marine batteries several feet.”
Katelynn Keen said the wind knocked her down and sucked a hatch cover off one of the boats. We put our customers below.”
The charter boat captains and crew were still trying to find another deck box and fish out other items that floated into view late Sunday afternoon.
National Weather Service meteorologist Wayne Hoepner said the storm hit the lakeshore between 10:45 and 11:15 a.m. with the largest amount of damage reported in the Muskegon and Grand Haven areas.
Hoepner said there was damage reported further north and south as well, but all of the damage was contained to the lakeshore. Inland, communities were reporting heavy rain.
The meteorologist said the damage in Grand Haven occurred mostly at the onset of the storm.
There’s no more severe weather in the forecast for Ottawa County, Hoepner said. There’s a small chance of rain Tuesday night, but that’s it for the week.
Temperatures are expected to be a little below normal for this time of the year, but are still expected to be in the upper 70s to low 80s, he said. Humidity will stay down for most of the week.