10/25/01- Most of Mid-Michigan was under a tornado warning at some time last night, this means that a funnel cloud was spotted or rotation was detected on Doppler Radar, but didn't necessarily mean that it touched down.
STORMTRACKER 6 Meteorologist Rob Dale was out in the Lansing area in the Storm Chase Van. Officials from the National Weather Service will be in Mid-Michigan to determine if, in fact, this was a tornado.
One man has died as a result of the storms. 46-year-old Michael Elliott of Maple Rapids was killed after a tree fell on his moving pickup truck. The large oak tree was split as a result of high winds and landed directly on top of the cab of his truck. Firefighters from St. Johns and Maple Rapids were on the scene and attempted to rescue Elliott.
Neighbors helped out whith chain saws and a backhoe, but when they reached the truck, he was already dead. There are indications that Elliott was out performing duties as a weather watcher when this accident happened.
The high winds and heavy rain also tore a path through Lansing. One of the hardest hit areas was at Tranter and Cavanaugh in Lansing at a CATA bus garage. No question one of the hardest hit areas in Ingham County was South Lansing. One of the hardest hit businesses was CATA's command center if you will. Employee's say just after 7pm, when the tornado warning was issued, things began to go wrong. Soon after that there would be word of a possible tornado spotted at Potter Park. Pieces of the roof were thrown hundreds of yards.
Kris Kuerbitz was on the road finishing her rounds when she recieved her first warning. At the same time at the CATA storage garage strong winds would be shattering windows, toppling trees and tearing and tossing large metal objects off the roof.
Tom Scott surveyed the damage at his Dimondale House. He says at about the same time, just aroud 7pm, seering winds would uproot a 50 foot tall pine tree, nearly knocking it unto M99. No confirmation as to whether or not this damage was caused by a tornado. No matter, say witnesses who won't forget. Damage to the CATA storage facility is estimated at tens of tousands of dollars, but no buses were damaged and operations will go on as scheduled, business as usual