Tornadoes, heavy rain hit SW Michigan

March 15, 2012 8:25:36 PM PDT
At least one tornado touched down in southeastern Michigan this afternoon as several towns in Washtenaw County were hit, including Dexter and Pinckney, outside of Ann Arbor.

No deaths or serious injuries are being reported, but the town of Dexter has been evacuated for fear of a gas leak.

Typically we don't see severe weather like this tornado, and the one that hammered southern Illinois two weeks ago, for several more weeks.

It is another sure sign that spring has sprung early.

Heavy rain rolled in soon after the twister made its exit.

The storm scalped several homes of their roofs. Others were destroyed.

"Behind us is the Dexter mill and part of it is gone," said shop owner Bill Marx. "One of the buildings is just not even there anymore. The inventory is sitting there, but no building."

The weather system that spawned the Michigan tornado is part of an unusual air mass that is showing no signs of retreat.

Since March 1, 1,400 record-high temperatures have been recorded across the U.S. and the National Weather Service sees no end in sight.

Meteorologists say we won't have the extreme flooding some parts of the country have experienced four years in a row. There simply wasn't enough snow for the annual melt to cause problems.

On the flip-side early blooms also mean early bugs, including mosquitoes.

"They just have not died out this year like you would expect because we just haven't had that much cold weather," said Jim Gardner, mosquito control director for Pitt Co. New York.

The unusual weather also has those with allergies suffering earlier than ever.

"You're so stuffed up, you can't breathe so you never really get any rest," said allergy sufferer Sandra Holmes. "I'm tired all the time."

The latest word from southeast Michigan has 68 homes damaged, 35 destroyed. Police and fire are going door-to-door to double check that everyone is okay.