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FEMA completes tornado damage assessment of Kalamazoo County

Cleaning up the day after a tornado touched down in Portage on May 7, 2024
Leona Larson / WMUK
Cleaning up the day after a tornado touched down in Portage on May 7, 2024

FEMA finds over 500 residential properties impacted by the May 7 tornado in Kalamazoo County.

Residential impact

Portage was hit hard by last week’s tornado with 305 residential buildings affected. Within that total, 23 were destroyed and 67 took major damage.

Pavilion Township had the highest number of destroyed homes. Forty-five residential buildings were destroyed out of 106 that suffered varying degrees of damage during the storm.

In Texas Township, six residences were destroyed out of a total of 95 damaged homes.

Business relief

After doing its own assessment, the Small Business Administration will set up an office in Portage where tornado impacted businesses may apply for low interest SBA loans to help them rebuild. It is unknown when exactly the office will open.

Now that the completed damage report is in, it is up to Governor Gretchen Whitmer to ask President Joe Biden to approve a federal disaster declaration.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023.