The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, and Montcalm effective from 7 pm Saturday until 6 am Monday. A strong storm will be crossing the Ohio Valley Sunday, bringing snow to West Michigan, with some areas perhaps seeing as much as 10-12" of accumulation. Snowfall will be heaviest south as opposed to north, so near/south of I-94 is where the highest accumulations are expected... 8-12" possible. However, Eaton, Ottawa, and Kent could see anywhere from 4-7". Additionally, gusty winds will be blowing the snow quite a bit, causing drifting on roads along with poor visibility. Travel is discouraged from late Saturday night through Sunday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the following counties in West Michigan, effective from 7 pm Saturday until 4 am Monday: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Van Buren,  St.Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale. A strong winter storm moving into/across the Ohio Valley will bring periods of heavy snow to the Warning area, beginning late tonight and extending through at least Sunday evening. Forecast models indicate between 8 and 12" of accumulation are possible. Additionally, strong winds will cause blowing and drifting snow. Driving conditions will be hazardous Sunday. Travel is not encouraged.

Stay with Newschannel 3 and for the latest updates.

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Cleanup begins after powerful hail storm slams West Michigan

Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014
Cleanup begins after powerful hail storm slams West Michigan  story image

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- Several communities in west Michigan are cleaning up after getting slammed by high winds and golf ball sized hail.

The strong thunderstorm cut a path of destruction along the border of Kalamazoo and Allegan Counties.

Neighbors tell us there hasn't been a hail storm like this in decades.

Sunday night, the sky opened up and Mother Nature showed her wrath.

“It sounded like somebody was throwing golf balls at the house,” said Kathy Porter of Cooper Township. and our social media sites were soon flooded with pictures and videos of the huge hail.

“There was hail everywhere on the back porch, about two inches deep. Hail everywhere out there,” said Denise Julien of Alamo Township.

Some of the worst damage happened in Alamo and Cooper Townships.

On North 12th Street, broken windows accented pelted homes.

“It looked like a machine gun had gone off on the back of our house from the hail. We know we have siding damage, not sure about the roof yet. My husband's truck, a 2014 Ford was damaged and it is probably totaled,” Julien said.

Across the road, Kathy Porter’s house was also hit hard.

But she said the biggest heartbreak of all was the damage to her crops.
“I picked the beans, and my tomato bushes were beautiful, and now they're mush! It's like someone came through here with a weed whacker,” Porter said.

Healthy corn crops have been cut up.

“57 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Porter said.

At H&H Auto Body in Plainwell, Terry Haynes has been busy looking over damaged vehicles.

“Big dents, big and little. Some stuff will have to be replaced; some will have to be repaired,” Haynes said.
He said even the simplest dents from hail can cost big bucks to fix.

“There’s one we just wrote, a hood and a roof that was $1,700. I wrote a Jeep and that will be $4,000,” Haynes said.

Haynes expects to be slammed this week as drivers come in for estimates.

‘I’m very thankful that no one was injured and nothing can't be replaced,” Porter said.  

Some have already started cleaning up, while others are waiting for insurance companies to come by and take a look at the damage.

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