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Governor Whitmer views the devastation after tornado rips through Kalamazoo County

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wears a light purple suit jacket over an all black button up. Golden pins and buttons also dot the coat, including one on her coat's collar that depicts the outline of the state of Michigan. She's speaking with the county sheriff, who wears an all black uniform. Behind the sheriff is Michigan Senator Sean McCann, wearing a light blue button up and dark blue pants. A crowd of other various individuals crowd the three people. A collapse tree can be seen in the background, one of the many signs of destruction left by the tornado.
Michael Symonds
Whitmer said the state will be seeking federal aid to help affected communities, but first an assessment of damage will need to be finished.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited a mobile home park in Pavilion Township Wednesday after a tornado left many without a home.

Governor Whitmer toured part of Pavilion Estates, meeting with residents, volunteers and first responders. Alongside her was Michigan State Senator Sean McCann and Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller.

Witnessing the devastation firsthand, Whitmer said that while there were no fatalities, that doesn’t mean the community was at all unscathed.

“While we feel really lucky that no people lost their lives. We know that a lot of people lost everything.”

She added that with climate change making these disasters more common, the state needs to make more of an effort to push back against these negative effects.

“We've got to continue to evolve as well as we think about how do we protect one another and how do we combat these impacts of climate change.”

Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says in total, 176 homes were damaged, with at least 15 being totally destroyed.

Whitmer says state departments from the State Police to the Department of Transportation are on the ground to assist local communities recovering from the disaster.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.