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      Storm leaves trail of damage in its path

      Strong storms moved through Northern Michigan early Wednesday morning, leaving behind a trail of damage, and a mess for thousands of people to wake up to.

      "When I got up this morning I went to get the paper, the driveway had been flooded, and then I sat down with a cup of coffee and looked at the lake and my dock was upside down," said Clinton Smeltzer who lives on Crystal Lake in Benzie County.

      Smeltzer's dock was disconnected from the shoreline, and his boat hoist was not where it was the night before.

      "My hoist went from one side of the dock to the other side, and 50-feet away," said Smeltzer. "And the top canopy was crushed in. It's a lot of damage."

      The storm system also knocked down some large branches and leaves at the Forest Hills Cemetery in Osceola County, resulting in some damaged tomb stones. Manistee County also saw some strong winds, enough to take down a special events tent at the Manistee National Golf and Resort. "The tent's rated for upwards of 75 miles an hour so something above that hit us and it decided it wanted to come down," said General Manager, Doug Bell.

      Broken tables and chairs were thrown multiple feet from the tent, along with some damaged heat lamps and other various items. Bell says they are lucky, and that things could have been worse.

      "It was pre-set for our wedding this Saturday so everything was in place," said Bell. "Might have lost a temporary bar, some tables and chairs. Nothing major. Luckily it didn't fly off and hit anybody or do any damage to the building."

      Early Wednesday morning some 26-thousand consumer power customers were without electricity. 7&4 News is told that Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties were the hardest hit and that Consumers hopes to have all the power back on by midnight.