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Community starts to recover after microburst rocks Albion
ALBION, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - National Weather Service workers have determined that a phenomenon known as a microburst struck Albion Wednesday night.
This caused a fast and furious storm, which knocked out power to half the city and caused significant damage, as well as cutting out power to at least half the city.
Albion College took a big hit from the microburst, and officials shut the campus down until at least Sunday.
We now know that the storm generated winds at speeds equivalent to those of an E-F 0 tornado.
"We couldn't see about three feet in front of us," said Albion College sophomore Jessica Bidock, of the storm Wednesday night.
"It was crazy, because we were in the gym, because the lights went out and we could hear it on the roof," added sophomore Emily Wingard.
Witness descriptions and the aftermath helped National Weather Service officials on the ground determine Thursday that the storm was the result of what they call a wet microburst.
"The energy from a thunderstorm collapses, causing it to fall down at once," explained Jim Maczko, with the NWS. "Most of your debris was in the same direction."
The storm left damage that not even the Albion Police Chief Scott Kipp has seen there in the past.
Major roadways, including M-99, remain shut down--as well as the city itself--for crews to safely clean up downed trees and power lines.
"There's still the chance of a generator backfeeding a line, and it can be just as dangerous if the power was on," said Chief Kipp.
The Albion college women's soccer team grabbed what they could before they were kicked out of their dorms.
Though school is out for the rest of the week, it's still a headache for students who live off-campus in Albion, as trees fell on cars and through roofs.
Students in Albion will not be allowed back on campus until at least Sunday at noon.