ALBION, Mich. (AP) — Powerful thunderstorms that strafed southern and southeast Michigan with up to 70 mph winds knocked down power lines and trees at a small private college campus, forcing the cancellation of classes as crews assessed the damage.
The storms hit the area surrounding Albion College, 85 miles west of Detroit, shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday. School officials, concerned about the debris scattered across campus as well as the lack of power and phone service to the area, cancelled classes until Monday.
"This is a hazardous situation, and students and staff should not be out walking on campus. We are hopeful that all services will be restored by Sunday," the school said in a posting on its website. Albion College is a private, four-year college with roughly 1,380 students.
The National Weather Service said an official visited the area to determine whether a tornado caused the damage around Albion. An initial survey found damage consistent with wind gusts up to 70 mph, the weather service said.
Power outages also were reported in adjacent Jackson County. Durk Dunham, director of the emergency management division of the Calhoun County Sheriff Department, told the Battle Creek Enquirer that little damage was reported elsewhere in the county.
"We think it was straight-line winds but they might have had a tornado," he said.
Temperatures in Michigan's Lower Peninsula quickly dropped from the 90s to the 70s, bringing an abrupt end to a late summer heat wave.
In southeast Michigan, high winds felled trees and knocked out power to more than 70,000 electricity customers.