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      Early morning winds cause major damage to homes

      A line of thunderstorms that moved across the Upper Peninsula early Friday morning left significant damage in one part of Humboldt Township. Around 5 a.m., residents on the south shore of Helen Lake awoke to loud booms and crashes as strong winds brought hundreds of trees to the ground.

      Colleen Juidici was sleeping inside her camp and heard heavy rain and thunder. She said the storm left behind damage like she has never seen before.

      "We've been here for 37 years. We've had a lot of storms go through--wind, rain, thunder, lightning--but never with the magnitude of damage as far as trees down," said Juidici.

      Two large trees in front of Juidici's camp were uprooted and landed not far away from the structure. Many other people were not so lucky, as trees crushed many buildings.

      The Champion-Humboldt Fire Department and other neighboring departments were called in right after the storm to help move trees off of homes, according to Champion-Humboldt assistant fire chief Jim Carlisle.

      "We're very fortunate that nobody got hurt, but there are many trees laying around and power lines down," said Carlisle.

      The National Weather Service surveyed the area Friday morning. The damage stretched for about half a mile. Meteorologist Matt Zika noted that all of the trees fell in the same direction and said it was a localized, straight-line wind event. He estimated that wind speeds topped out around 85 mph.

      Zika said the M-95 corridor has recently been the site of many localized severe weather events.

      "Last year, we had one down on Sawyer Lake and even farther to the south along M-95, and others in and around Republic where we had some very large hail reports last year," said Zika. "For some reason, the last couple years, it seems that this area is a bit of a magnet for localized severe weather activity."

      Throughout Friday, neighbors worked together to clear the trees and debris. The area remained without power.