Authorities say a tornado swept through mid-Michigan, damaging homes and knocking out power to thousands.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down at 7:03 p.m. Thursday around the Shiawassee County community of Vernon, about 21 miles southwest of Flint. Officials say the same tornado touched down in nearby Durand about 7:05 p.m. In nearby Bancroft, Tanner Frederic says he got a tornado warning on his phone just seconds before the tornado struck his home. "It sounded like a train was going right by you and it lasted five seconds and it was gone. It's not something to be taken lightly a tornado warning... never experienced this in my whole life and never thought it would happen."

State police say that roughly 70 homes and businesses were damaged, but no injuries were immediately reported. Severe weather also moved through nearby Genesee County, where a mobile home park was damaged. Park resident Eric Wichert told the winds "got really bad, really strong." Weather service officials say an unconfirmed tornado reportedly touched down nearby in the Flushing area at 7:12 p.m.

Lower Michigan also saw severe thunderstorm warnings, watches, flooding, high winds and hail as a late-winter storm system trekked across the Midwest.

Picture courtesy of Patricia Rothney on Facebook. (JK)