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Two rounds of severe thunderstorms occurred within 24 hours on June 7 and 8, 2008. These storms produced flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes across Lower Michigan. Eight people died in Michigan as a result of these storms.

Radar animation from 8 AM EDT June 7 to 8 PM June 8, 2008. Radar data from the National Weather Service. Images mapped and displayed by the College of DuPage, and archived by UCAR.

Above: Severe storm reports from 8 AM June 7 to 8 AM June 8, 2008. Red = tornado. Blue = wind damage or gust over 58 mph. Green = hail 1" diameter or larger.

Flash flooding occurred the night of June 7-8. Hardest hit was the Holland to Saugatuck area, where as much as 5 inches of rain fell in 6 hours. Cars were submerged to their roofs on US-31 in Holland. Several roadways in Allegan county were destroyed and washed away in the dark of night.


Above: Severe storm reports from 8 AM June 8 to 8 AM June 9, 2008. Red = tornado. Blue = wind damage or gust over 58 mph. Green = hail 1" diameter or larger.

A line of severe thunderstorms then moved through much of Lower Michigan the afternoon of June 8. The storms were moving at 50-60 mph and knocked down a number of trees with straight-line winds around 60-80 mph. Two tornadoes embedded in this storm line formed within the state, both rated EF1 (maximum winds between 86 and 110 mph). One tornado struck near Hersey to Evart in Osceola County, and the other tornado formed south of Grand Ledge in Eaton County, then moved into the west side of Lansing in Ingham County. The tornadoes were moving at 50-60 mph and were often times difficult or impossible to see amidst the heavy rain.

The storms killed a number of people in Michigan. Their stories remind us of the multiple dangers severe weather can pose.

  • Clarissa Green and Dean Taylor died in the pre-dawn hours of June 8, when their car fell into a deep ravine carved by flood waters that destroyed the roadway of Lakeshore Drive, in Saugatuck Township, Allegan County.
  • John Pekich died on June 8 while tending to the the swollen creek at the Worley Drain Dam in Robinson Township, Ottawa County.
  • Chad Dushane died the afternoon of June 8 when severe thunderstorm winds caused a large tree limb to fall on his car in Spring Lake, Ottawa County.
  • Ursula Swidewinski died the afternoon of June 8 when severe thunderstorm winds knocked down a tree as she went out to secure her pole barn near Crockery Lake, in Chester Twp, Ottawa County.
  • A woman died the afternoon of June 8 when a camper trailer overturned onto her as a tornado and strong winds tore through her neighborhood, in Delta Twp, Eaton County.
  • Jason Amy and Rachelle Schloegl died on June 10 from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator that was running in a basement during a power outage, in Argentine Twp, Genessee County.


Lakeshore Drive in Saugatuck Twp (Allegan County) was washed away by flash flooding after several inches of rain fell in a matter of hours the night of June 7-8, 2008. Flash flooding at night is especially dangerous and deadly, as washed-out roadways and deep swift-flowing water may not be visible.

Flooding in Holland at US-31 & E 40th St, the morning of June 8, 2008.

A destroyed barn south of Grand Ledge and west of Lansing in Eaton County, from the June 8, 2008 tornado.