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Massive cleanup effort in Armada after EF-1 tornado hits downtown

Armada storm.jpg
Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 05:50:03-04

ARMADA, Mich. (WXYZ) — It was a busy Sunday in Armada, with residents across town hard at work cleaning up the debris left behind by Saturday's EF-1 tornado.

“It lasted about maybe a minute and we came up and everything was gone,” said homeowner Jodie Sutton. “We probably have at least 30 trees in our yard that are decades old, and they’re all gone."

With wind speeds of 105 miles per hour, the tornado tore through downtown Armada, ripping apart roofs as residents took cover inside.

"It just was so loud there were so many cracks, bangs, so many awful noises," said Alyssa Wrubel. "I thought we weren't going to have a house anymore.”

As 911 calls poured in, local law enforcement was overwhelmed. At the time, Armada police had just one officer on duty. Everyone from the Macomb County Sheriff to Michigan State Police came rushing in.

“They supported us, they came to our aid and they’re still here today,” said Armada Police Chief Michael Patrick.

With so many trees to pick up, even more help was needed. Dozens of volunteers from all over came to town, bringing food water and ice to help those without power.

“Our chimney came off and there's some roof damage but we’re just thankful for all the people that are here that are helping, dropping off water, small town proud,” said one homeowner.

That pride is what keeps these residents moving forward. Despite the extensive damage, not a single injury was reported. A lot may be have been lost, but the spirit of this small town is still in tact.

“We’re safe and our house is fine, and we’re grateful. very grateful,” said homeowner Cheryl Janicki.