Labor Day Tornado To Close For Comfort!

Labor Day Cabin 2014 053It is quite rare for tornado’s warnings to be part of the Northern Michigan experience, but during this past Labor Day vacation we narrowly escaped having one run over us!  On Saturday July 30th the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning around Luzerne, three miles from our cabin.  We have a weather radio and a funnel cloud had been confirmed in the area, and people were advised to take cover.  Where do you go in a cabin surrounded by pine trees?  I suggested the crawl space to which the three woman present said “no way!”  That left an awful crowded bathroom shower as the next alternative!  Thankfully that funnel cloud never touched down, but we did have a lot of wind and rain.

Two days later we were in Gaylord with our friends Pat and Ed Alger.  We ate at a nice restaurant downtown and were done around 2:15 p.m.  Gaylord was jammed packed with traffic so we snuck out the back way and took the scenic ride next to Otsego Lake.  Our plan was to drive back into Lewiston by “Old State Rd. which passed by Pat’s son’s cabin.  It had started raining while we were still eating our meal and it continued to worsen as we drove toward our destination.  Radio reports from Kalkaska said a tornado had touched down there and warned that the severe weather was heading in our direction.  We knew the storm was heading in a north easterly direction so we figured we would head in a southerly direction and out smart the storm.  Once we hit Old State Rd. the rain really started coming down “sideways!”  Ed had his wipers turned up as fast as they would go, but the road was almost obscured from sight.  We stopped just past Little Bass Lake and Blueberry lane and drove a mile back in the woods to check out Pat’s son’s place.  Once back on the road the winds picked up and the trees had a noticeable lean to them!

It wasn’t till after we arrived back at Ed and pat’s place that we learned a EF-1 tornado had touched down around Little Bass Lake and Blueberry Lane.  It had winds of 110 miles and hour and made a swath through the woods 7 miles long and 250 yards wide.  The tornado hit at 2:42.  None of us remembers the exact time we were driving that area, but we couldn’t have been but a few minutes from some not so welcomed excitement!

When Lorna and I got back to our place we had a few trees down with one of them near the cabin and blocking my driveway.  Had to fire up the chainsaw and stack some more wood for the campfire.  Glad no one was hurt and damage was minimal with mostly trees suffering the brunt of these unusual northern twisters.  One also touched down in Crawford County.

Mike

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