Storm Damage Surveys July 19, 2013

On July 19th, the National Weather Service in Marquette conducted storm damage surveys in Baraga and Marquette counties due to wind damage that occurred with severe thunderstorms that moved through the area from the afternoon hours of July 18th into the overnight hours.  Many areas across the central and eastern portions of the Upper Peninsula experienced wind damage; however, more concentrated damage occurred near L'anse, south of Republic-near Helen Lake and near Muskallonge State Park.

Upon completion of the L'anse survey it was found that the damage area, caused by straight-line winds, was roughly 1 mile long and about 1/2 mile wide with much of the damage being sporadic.  The maximum wind speeds were estimated to be around 65 mph causing large tree limbs to be blown down and some trees to be uprooted.  Fortunately, no injuries were reported from this storm; however, there was at least one close call as a tree fell on a home, as shown on the bottom right image of Figure 4, while the home owner was sitting nearby.  The tree also fell on the stove causing a fire to break out in the kitchen.  The following images a map of the damage area, radar images as well as images from the storm damage survey in the L'anse area.


Figure 1: Area with concentrated thunderstorm wind damage in the L'anse area.


Figure 2:  Radar reflectivity, taken around 6:41 pm, showing the severe thunderstorms passing over the Baraga and L'anse area.   Figure 3: Radar base velocity at 6:41 pm showing the higher wind speeds associated with the line of storms moving through the area.  The light blue colors just south of L'anse indicate winds around 50 to 60 mph around 3500 ft above the ground.



 Figure 4:  Damage across portions of the L'anse area due to storms that occurred during the late afternoon hours on July 18, 2013.



Another area that received a significant amount of damage, caused by straight-line winds, was at Helen Lake, near Republic, during the overnight and early morning hours July 19, 2013.  The damage path associated with this storm was about 1/2 mile long and roughly 200 yards wide.  The winds were estimated to be around 80 mph, causing over 100 trees to be snapped or uprooted.  Some of these trees actually landed on camps as well as other structures causing significant damage.  Fortunately, there were no injuries reported in this event, but similar to the L'anse event, there was a close call.  The close call occurred as a family was sleeping in their loft as trees began falling onto the house.  They had just gotten out of the loft before a tree came crashing through the roof as shown in the top right corner of Figure 8.  The following images show the damage path, radar imagery as well as damage photos from this event.