DEXTER, MI (March 16, 2012) – About half a dozen members of Connexions Covenant Church suffered some damage to their houses, but no one was injured when an EF3-rated tornado skipped through the community Thursday evening, said Pastor Ron Gelaude, who had helped put a tarp on the roof of one home this morning.
No deaths or serious injuries have been reported, although some people had to be pulled from the rubble of their homes.
An EF3 tornado packs winds of at least 136 miles per hour. Thursday’s twister struck around 5:30 p.m. and damaged at least 100 houses – 13 that were destroyed – according to multiple news reports. Most of the damage was contained to specific areas, Gelaude said.
The new church building was not damaged, however. “It’s like a fortress,” said Gelaude.
The church is helping the community respond. The new church building has two showers, so the congregation has made them available to the public over the next three days. Members also have offered to help take care of children at the emergency shelter that the Red Cross has set up at a local school.
Teams of four and five members were going throughout the community to help people clear debris, including trees from yards. The tornado ripped apart numerous trees in Dexter, which previously was designated a “Tree City USA” community.
Click here to see video of the damage.