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      Confirmed tornadoes slam downstate Michigan

      Severe thunderstorms that rocked parts of Southern Michigan Tuesday did have confirmed tornadoes according to the National Weather Service.

      The National Weather Service Office in Detroit has finished storm surveys of damage that occurred from severe thunderstorms downstate in parts of Shiawassee and Genesee counties including areas around Flint.

      Thunderstorms that blew up Tuesday due to afternoon heating and the presence of a warm front nearby with wind shear allowed these storms to become severe Tuesday afternoon with tornado warnings issued. The tornadoes occurred in the 8:30-10:30 p.m. hours Tuesday. These storms led to reports of trees and power lines uprooted along with significant damage to some homes and businesses which led to the National Weather Service sending out teams to survey the damage.

      After reviewing the damage and radar data, the National Weather Service in Detroit said 6 tornadoes touched down. Two of them rated F-O with winds estimated at 75 mph. These tornadoes crossed I-69 near Perry and Morrice. Two other tornadoes rated F-1 touched down north of Flint and and northwest of Byron with winds up to 105 mph leading to many uprooted trees and some damage to buildings and a farm. The strongest tornadoes rated F-2 touched down NNW of Fenton and east of Grand Blanc with winds estimated between 115-130 mph. There was significant damage to a few homes associated with this tornado with roofs completely torn off.

      While thunderstorms are possible across Northern Michigan Thursday through Saturday, the severe weather threat locally is minimal. Southern Michigan once again has the risk for severe storms both Friday and Saturday.