Malfunction Causes Tornado Sirens to Sound Off in Portage, MI
The recent snowfall we've been experiencing has made life in West Michigan a bit chaotic-- to say the least!
Our first Winter storm warning is really living up to the hype with WWMT's Keith Thompson reporting six inches of snow has already fallen as of yesterday evening.
However, the snow hasn't been the only excitement here in town. Last night residents in Portage got a rude awakening when the tornado sirens began to sound off! Naturally, everyone flocked to social media for answers. Reddit user u/BrandonCarlson posted,
My phone is off so I can't even call the Police Department to figure out why. I can't find anything on the internet, either - WHAT IS HAPPENING I'M PANICKING
Update: It happened again on Sunday, November 20!
Tornado in December?
Though Michigan is no stranger to experiencing tornadoes, it's highly unlikely that they ever occur in winter-- though it has happened before! According to the National Weather Service, three winter tornadoes have occurred in Michigan in the past, including one on January 18, 1996, in Kalamazoo County.
However, that's not the case here.
Regarding the events on November 17, the Kalamazoo County Dispatch Authority took to Facebook to clear the air saying,
We are receiving calls that the tornado sirens have been activated in the City of Portage. There is not a tornado, and it appears to be a problem with the system. The City of Portage is working to get the problem fixed.
Although the malfunction is concerning, locals were relieved to hear it was only a fluke:
- "Whoosh. I thought the Russian’s were coming." - Todd Powers
- "Thank you! I was baffled when driving down centre!" - Emily Williamson
- "Oh gawd...snownado." - Christopher R. Keeler
Keep calm and carry on! Did you hear the sirens yesterday?