By CRISTINA TRAPANI-SCOTT
Leveled homes, gnarled debris, trees uprooted, Red Cross Disaster Relief trucks — these are images typically associated with scenes on television, often in distant places. After Sunday’s early morning tornado that tore through Dundee, those images are all too close to home.
At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, an EF2 tornado with winds as strong as 130 miles per hour touched down just east of Lenawee County and continued on a destructive path for 13 miles, tearing through homes, unearthing trees throughout the Village of Dundee, and downing power lines. More than 35,000 DTE Energy customers were without power during the storm. On Monday, nearly 7,000 residents still had no power as crews lined M-50 repairing damaged utility poles and lines.
Britton resident Teri Kniffin is feeling fortunate. She and her husband, Paul, own a home on M-50 where their son, also Paul, lives with his family. A tree fell on the home, crushing a bedroom that the couple typically uses, but they’d moved to an upstairs bedroom recently because it was quieter.
“We had no idea the tornado was going toward Dundee until we got the call from Paul and [his wife] Amy,” Kniffin said. “They were one of the lucky ones. Paul (junior) said that they thought their damage was bad until they were driving down the road. He told me that he didn’t want to work on his own house because he wanted to help others.”
Connie Landry, whose children attend Britton-Macon Area School, is a Dundee native. She and her family live on Petersburg Road. Landry said they heard the first alarm at around 12:30 a.m. and then a second sounded just before 2 a.m.