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.