Officials tour tornado damage

A group of federal, state and local officials toured tornado-damaged areas in Portage and other area communities Wednesday.

The joint public damage assessment featured personnel from Michigan State Police, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration and local officials. The group was one of three teams assessing damage in Kalamazoo County, with additional teams surveying storm damage in Branch, Cass and St. Joseph counties.

Officials reviewed the extent, severity and impact of the May 7 storm, and wind damage to homes and businesses in the affected area. In total, the teams were expected to visit roughly 1,200 homes and businesses by the end of the day Thursday.

The impact of the storm was evident at Oak Brook Estates mobile home community in Portage, where crews continued to clear downed trees and debris.

Many homes there suffered extensive damage, with walls ripped out and a portion of their roofs missing; at least one home appeared to be partially ripped from its foundation.

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