Storm Damage at Kimball Pines:  On May 29, 2011, a strong storm system moved through lower Michigan, inflicting significant property damage in the Battle Creek area.  Directly in the path of the storm was Kimball Pines County Park in Emmett Township, east of Battle Creek, through which the North Country National Scenic Trail passes.  The damage to the park and the Trail was spectacular and heartbreaking to see.
     (Top)   You knew something was wrong when you pulled up to Kimball Pines ... and found the gate closed.  Beyond the gate, along side the road lay brush and trees that had been shoved off the road earlier in the week.
     (Bottom)  No, this picture was not  taken during a stiff wind.  This is the aftermath.  Throughout the park, most of the trees that had fallen or were leaning appeared to have been blown from roughly the same direction, southwest to west, which supports the belief that the storm was probably not a tornado.  The Battle Creek Enquirer interviewed Dan Copp, an expert from the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids who flew over the area by helicopter on Monday morning.  He said that the extensive damage was mostly from straight line winds of between 75 and 100 miles per hour.  "It was mostly straight winds with some tornadic swirl," he said. "It could be both but mostly some straight line, it is never a nice classic tornado. It was part squall and part super cell with straight line winds and microbursts." Cobb said his view of the damage and reports from people on the ground were that the winds lasted several minutes and were accompanied by low visibility and rain, which would support the idea of a strong straight line storm with winds which dipped and rose over the area.
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