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National Weather Service confirms EF-1 tornado traveled nearly 9 miles across portions of northern Kent County

Backyard Fun Zone
WGVU Public Media
Patrick Center
Backyard Fun Zone, 5600 block Alpine Ave. NW

Widespread storm damage across the region.

“Devastating. Complete destruction.”

“It was a 30’x30’ cinderblock building that we were leasing. So, it’s pretty much totaled.”

“You would think that would be the safest building here.”

But it’s no match for an EF-1 tornado. The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has confirmed 86 to 110 mph winds blew through the 5600 block of Alpine Avenue NW tracking southeast.

“I think this stuff from the AT&T building across the street flew into this building.”

Mike Lampe is the owner of Backyard Fun Zone. He sells swing sets, trampolines along with barn sheds and cabins for sale and rental. All of it on display.

“They are nowhere to be found. They’re just scattered everywhere.”

“They found one invoice that must have been out on the desk from yesterday that they found at around 7 Mile and Division which is probably ¾ to a mile away from here.”

Just a few miles southeast near Dean Lake…

WGVU Public Media
Patrick Center
2200 block 4 Mile Rd. NE

“Tore the tree right out of the ground. Roots and all. Just, boom! That’s what’s laying on my house.”

Joe Bockheim’s roof damaged, his shed totaled.

“You’d almost swear a tornado came through. I mean, the wind was whipping every which way. All I knew was, ‘well, better hold on.’”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.