Confirmed: Tornado Touchdown In Taylor

August 01, 2018 - 3:12 pm

TAYLOR (WWJ) -  The National Weather Service says a tornado that hit the city of Taylor early Wednesday packed 80 mph winds and damaged a roof, signage and air conditioning units.

Officials confirmed the touchdown Wednesday afternoon, after forecasters said 2.5 to 3 inches of  rain fell in parts of Wayne and Monroe counties overnight. NWS said it was an EF-0 tornado, which is the weakest rating. 

No injuries were reported in connection with the twister, which touched down at 12:44 a.m. and stayed on the ground for about two minutes. 

NWS Meteorologist Trent Frey said surveyors assessing the damage found an air conditioning unit had been torn off a Payless shoe store at Southland Center. 

"There was damage to a couple signs," he added, in an WWJ's Zahra Huber."I believe there was a Comerica Bank sign which was torn off a building there, on the corner of Eureka and Pardee roads...and then some minor tree damage around the area as well."

Three buildings were reportedly damaged, and Taylor officials told reporters they found hundreds of dead birds near where the tornado hit.

The storms brought high winds throughout metro Detroit, prompting tornado warnings in several suburbs before moving out of the area. The warnings started around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday and lasted until a little after 1 a.m. Portions of some area roads and freeways were closed by flooding for a time, but reopened as the water receded. Flood warnings were in effect Wednesday morning, but have since expired. 

[Overnight Storm Brings Down Power Lines, Shuts Businesses, Floods Streets, Causes Outages]

Officials said the last time a tornado touched down in the Taylor area was in Garden City in 1987. Metro Detroit last saw a confirmed tornado touchdown in December of 2015, in the Canton/Plymouth area.

Meanwhile, as of late Wednesday afternoon, around 9,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Southeast Michigan -- with the outages concentrated mostly in western Wayne County. That's down from around 24,000 in the morning. As always, if you see a downed power line, do not attempt to move it, but stay away and call DTE at 1-800-477-4747. 

For tips on how to prepare for a tornado, and what to do when there's a warning, visit this link.