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Posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 9:39 a.m.

What was your experience during Thursday's storm?

By Staff

Residents of the Dexter area and elsewhere are assessing damage from Thursday's severe storm—and trading stories about where they were and how they got through it.

What was your storm experience? Share your story in a comment, and if you have a photo to share, email it to



Mon, Mar 19, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

I watched the storm roll through along Washtenaw Ave. in AA near Falsetta's Market. I've lived in this area for nearly 50 years and I have never experienced a storm like that. Normally, when we get hail, it lasts for just a few seconds, maybe 30 seconds at the most. This storm was different. The hail continued for about half an hour. Not non-stop, but for most of that half hour or so. It was really weird to experience that.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

After surviving a hurricane a few years back and lame tornado and severe weather in this area, I went home, picked up a few things and headed to Ann Arbor with sirens blaring. Got to PI HI and just sat and watched it happen. None of the big hail like they mentioned and loved watching everyone freak out. No biggie. A storm is a storm and this storm was nothing compared to what we endured in Florida. But yes, this could have been a lot worse. Still wishing that hail did something to give me a new paint job. O well.

Mary Gallup

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

I was at St. Joe's attempting an induction or labor. I was having contractions every two minutes staring out the window watching the hail and lightening. My Husband was told to get away from the windows. Very scary to want to go to a basement and be unable to move. Baby decided she wasn't ready to come yet!


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Cool story.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

That storm developed over the Jackson area, The storm warning flashed on my computer and I saw it just growing in size and looked to be a micro storm. I thought nothing about it but being interested I watched the radar to see how close or big was getting. After it went over Chelsea Mi, it had grown and there was a trail of storms developing behind it like a tail per say. I thought Oh My God!, then the sirens sounded and the radar monitor had went red line around our area. Then I opened a local TV news station, and they had a report of a tornado touched down in Dexter, and the bulk of the storm showed that it was just moving over Dexter. So as the sirens sounded I sent the kids down to the basement, to a room that is 7'x7' cinder block waled room, that I built for such an occasion. I sat in front of the computer and watched the live weather cast, witch showed horrible patterns all over the place, and at the same time I was watching out the backyard window for funnel clouds, and ready to run down stairs at a moments notice. I use the room for a pantry, and keep water there too. The storm was slow, slow and hard core, but my kids were safe as I could get them at the time. My wife was at an appointment in A2's west side at Stadium and Pauline, and could not go anywhere because it was all flooded and the water was spewing up out of the storm drains, and it was causing Park Place apartments real bad in which she could see from her location. I thought why is the water coming out of the storm drains? I guess it was just way too much water to handle, and the water was bottle-necking.

Patti Smith

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

I left at 4:30 to take my dog for a walk downtown. We got caught in the rain/hail and had nowhere to go. I was terrified when the sirens went off and realized that we were kinda screwed because we weren't near any dog-friendly places. Buddy was actually way more calm that I was!!!


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Most times in storms like these? All you can do is ask to take shelter. There are places that will take dog and human alike. Not sure where you were, but glad to hear you made it home safely. Most dogs are usually calmer then us humans because for some reason? They know there is hydrant down the pike.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

3 miles from touchdown point, torrential rain, light up to half inch hail, heavy wind gusts - crawlspace under house filled with 2.5 feet of water. Pumping out all night at 40+ gallons per minute. Hit equilibrium point and can't make any more progress at emptying, it's still coming in too fast for pump. Never saw a storm hang around that long here.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

Got home right when the sirens went off and the rain really started coming down. Took the dogs and headed down to the basement, with the skies looking a bit green I didn't want to take any chances. Lots of rain and hail, but not too much wind. After a while I went back up and noticed my street at the bottom of the hill was flooding with the water just gushing up from the sewer - just too much rain for little Allen Creek to handle.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

I live about 2 miles away from where the tornado touched down. Could not see the funnel cloud but it still sounded like a freight train from that far away. I was standing on my front porch hearing that sound knowing that something bad was happening nearby. No damage in my neighborhood though.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

Flooding all around us. 4ft. of water a couple of blocks away. Hail and storm with no wind! First time for us to head to the basement. Green skies with lightning hits very close, too close for comfort. Downed lines and flickering lights. Grateful to live in a valley. Ann Arbor's worst hit was the flooding of roads and parking lots.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

My residence is near I-94 and Ann Arbor-Saline Rd in which the storm lasted nearly an hour. The hail event lasted over 40 minutes. It ranged from pea to nickle sized and nearly covered the ground. Rainfall was in the 3 to 4 inch range. One reason why the weather technology worked well was the slower moving nature of the storm. This allowed for ample warning lead time and prevented injuries. The storm speed was only 15 mph where many squall lines that hit us last summer passed through 40-60 mph. The slower moving storm also contributed to the urban flooding. Power remained on throughout my neighboorhood. There were no strong wind gusts.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Wow! Survived unscathed amidst fire, flooding, and tornado destruction in surrounding areas. Grateful for this, while compassionate for those that suffered property losses. Especially grateful that no lives have been lost. After green skies and giant hail subsided, saw a large Ann Arbor Fire Dept. fire truck, its engine bellowing white smoke from a misfiring engine, as the firefighter-driver apparently looked for a fire, which was blocks away. So much smoke bellowed from the fire engine's side that it obscured the sidewalks as it passed through westside a2 neighborhoods. The truck's engine misfired so badly, that it was practically undrivable. The truck could barely power up small hills. This was a large truck, too, not one of the small Suburbans. Surreal!


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

I know there are some problems with the new format. I apologize for venting my frustration in comments I was not sure could be seen. Can we get some kind of explanation as to why the tornado siren went off 25 minutes after the torando warning was issued?