As tornadic activity whipped outside, Emily Coon tightly held her three young children in the downstairs bathtub, bracing for whatever was going to happen next. With the sounds of wind, sirens and an oncoming train in the distance, she hoped for the best while preparing for the worst.

Fortunately, Tuesday’s twister just missed her house – but her property wasn’t left unscathed. The storm uprooted two trees and flung her children’s swing set 30 feet, completely smashing it. Sadly, her neighbors saw even worse damage. About 100 trees were toppled, some crushing vehicles and others landing on homes. What lasted less than a minute would change the look and feel, at least short term, of the neighborhood.

But in true Michigan fashion, people were quick to act. Volunteers came armed with chainsaws. Portage High School students raked yards and watched young children as the parents handled the aftermath of the storm that will forever be remembered in this community.

And one scene that could be found across SW Michigan this week: our blue and white trucks stationed with crews working safely and diligently to restore power.

“They were there for us right away,” said Coon, whose husband, Robert, was stuck at work, sheltering from the tornado. “It was amazing to see their willingness and dedication to work around the clock to get our power restored. They just fit right into the neighborhood and did what needed to be done. I saw them talking to people and consoling them. It means a lot to us.”

Coon said what she thought would be several days to restore power lasted less than 48 hours.

“We were so relieved once the power came back on,” she said. “But we realize that other people won’t be moving back into their homes or at least it will be a long time before they do.”

Coon said there were some trying moments as she hugged her three children – Theo (4), Reece (2), and Zoey, only a month old.

“It wasn’t exactly the smoothest transition to the basement when the emergency notification went off on my phone,” she said, since she had to scoop them all up to take cover. “Once I heard the tornado sirens then it became very real.”

She took the children into the basement bathroom, put pillows in the tub and prayed the roof didn’t blow off her home as the two oldest screamed and cried.

“Amazingly, the baby slept through it all,” she said.

Later, the Coons surveyed the neighborhood. Total devastation to many homes. With the trees gone, they could now see a major road clearly.

And Thursday, Emily Coon watched the neighborhood start the road back to normalcy with a crane removing a tree from a neighbor’s home.

“This was a very tough situation, and Consumers Energy crews being out here for us and showing their support for us in our time of need won’t be forgotten.”