Monday – Clean-Up

July 7th, 2014 at 10:49 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

damage 1   damage 4  The Grand Rapids National Weather Service has confirmed that damage in Kent County was from an EF1  tornado.  They say:  “*** 6 INJURED *** NWS STORM SURVEY CONFIRMED AN EF-1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN BYRON CENTER BEFORE MOVING INTO WYOMING AND THEN KENTWOOD BEFORE LIFTING. THE TORNADO HAD MAXIMUM WINDS OF 100 TO 110 MPH. THE PATH LENGTH WAS 6.25 MILES AND THE WIDTH WAS 300-400 YARDS.. Aerial view of storms damage from Adam Dabaja.  There is a Flood Warning for the Pine River at Alma, where the river will rise to a couple inches above flood stage.   There is a Flood Advisory for the Grand River at Ionia and the Maple River in Clinton County with the river will cause some minor flooding, but stay below flood stage.  Rainfall:  4.90″ Alma, 4.82″ McBride (E. Montcalm Co.), 3.72″ Bellevue, 3.13″ Elsie (Clinton Co.), 3.00″ Howard City, 2.74″ Ionia, 2.60″ White Cloud, 2.31″ Grand Ledge, 2.30″ Entrican (Montcalm Co.), 2.00″ Mt. Pleasant, 1.90″ Lansing and DeWitt, 1.68″ Grand Rapids, 1.44″ Hastings.  Hail was reported in Holland and Jenison.  Wind gusts hit 45 mph at the Ford Airport in G.R.   Here’s W. Michigan storm reports and rainfall totals.   As of 7:45 pm – 1,029 in Kent Co. without power, though a scheduled outage will bump that up close to 3500 for a couple hours this evening.  The path of this tornado is similar to a tornado that occurred on April 21, 1967.   That was an F-3 and destroyed 65 buildings.

Kyle Underwood viewed storm damage and called it a tornado, an EF1.  There were at least 6 injuries and the damage path goes on for at least 6.25 miles from S. Wyoming into Kentwood and far south G.R.  With these events it’s very hard to tell between tornado and thunderstorm downburst wind damage.  If the tornado had winds of 70 mph and a forward speed of 20 mph, you’d get a resultant 90 mph on the right side of the tornado and 50 mph (and hence little damage) on the north side of the tornado…so the damage would be similar with most of the debris falling in one direction.  The National Weather Service is doing a more complete damage survey and make the ultimate call.  Here’s more on the Sunday night storms from the GRR NWS.  In their summary, they say:  “In the reflectivity data, in the next-to-last frame, an area of higher reflectivity appears over Kentwood, likely indicative of lofted debris   The “lofted debris” is an indication of a tornado. Here’s a list of roads closed as they clean up debris from the storm.  Here’s photos of the storm and storm damage.   Lower Michigan is in the General Thunderstorm Outlook for this PM/Night, but not a Slight Risk Area.  Here’s Grand Rapids Radar and Regional Radar.

Also, a strong 7.1 magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico and Guatamala.  There are fatalities.

133 Responses to “Monday – Clean-Up”

  1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    How is this possible? The all knowing fixxxer said NO STORMS! This must be a government conspiracy!

    1. matt says:

      How it possible your mother hasnt taken away your computer. Go play in traffic.

      1. fixxxer says:

        Lol… I got no bad storms here last night.

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Talking to yourself again I see!

        2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          You must be a sound sleeper. It’s okay to be wrong, fixxxer. It happens to everyone.

        3. matt says:

          I got nothing, a few rumbles of thunder, and rain.

    2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      Another above average temp day yesterday. How is this possible? The know nothing rocky said this was the year of no summer with a mini ice age no less. I love it. Who knew?

      1. matt says:

        It’s been a great run of above average temps so far Rodey. I love it.

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          +one gazillion trillion billion million.

  2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    fixxxer has successfully just made one of the worst calls in weather history! Congratulations!

    1. matt says:

      Like you have never been wrong. Go play in your moms freezer box

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Just the facts – worst call in history!

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          No, the worst call in history was that this would be the year of no summer with high temps in the 60′s and 70′s along with the mini ice age. Imagine that. I love it.

        2. matt says:

          You want facts look at the belly aching you’ve done for the past four months, the worst ever. Maybe when Bill retires Indy and you can take over. One a washed up alcoholic that thinks it’s the 60′s, and you a kid who’s starved for attention.

    2. fixxxer says:

      Other than im usually 99.9% right.

      1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

        Delusional and a whining complainer! Nothing could be worse! I feel very sorry for your family! Get a grip!

        1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

          Speaking of delusional and getting a grip. Tell us again about the epic mini ice age we are in. What a little twit. Imagine that. Pathetic.

        2. matt says:

          We all feel sorry for your parents.

    3. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      And you make them pretty much everyday. Imagine that. Who knew?

  3. kentwoodchicken says:

    Fortunately the chicken is unscathed! BWAAK!

  4. John (Norton Shores) says:

    The NWS has confirmed a tornado did touch down.

    1. Yes and I found the touch down spot. I mentioned it to the NWS on FB. It touched town 1 mile Northeast of my house

      1. John (Norton Shores) says:

        I am glad it missed your house! But I feel for those who were impacted, hoping they can restore their houses soon.

  5. Kevin (Marshall) says:

    .75 inches of rain total just south of Marshall.

  6. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

    For those of you contacting me and informing me about the tornado on other sources, keep the reports coming. I just can’t rely until Wednesday but I can see your messages. Thanks!

  7. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    Just horrible! I have been looking at the pictures from last night’s storm. Looks like a war zone. Thank the Lord that no lives were lost and no serious injuries. fixxxer how could you want storms like this? It makes no sense. Kyle just reported no 90 degree temp for awhile. He said it is very rare that we haven’t had one yet. Oh and more storms on the way.

    1. Nathan (Forest Hills) says:

      When we want storms were definitely don’t want destructive like what we saw last night. Storms like these really make it difficult for me to root for storms later in the season. Thankfully everyone is okay, that is all what matters. It could have been worse!

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      Who knew?

  8. suehelen says:

    No damaging winds or tornadoes here just south of Edmore, but lots of rain- 5+ inches.

  9. Katie in Kentwood says:

    These neighborhoods a few blocks away from me are just in such bad shape. I really wish I didn’t have to go to work. So many people standing out in their yards looking helpless at all the damage. Just awful.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      And just think many people on here root for bad summer storms!

      1. You are right Rocky people DO like summer storms, but NO ONE that I know of on here wants destructive thunderstorms like we had last night.

        People are allowed to like thunderstorms you know. Your in love with winter storms so its no different

        1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          good point, but not nearly the same comparison!

      2. suehelen says:

        Exactly, Rocky. I don’t understand it.

  10. DF (EGR) says:

    Just spent the whole morning at the inlaws and they still haven’t been able to enter their house. It is crazy down there. All the 100 foot plus trees all gone. They escaped their bedroom just before a tree crashed onto their bed.

  11. Jerrod (Hartford) says:

    No damage, but it got breezy and poured rain around 2:30-3 AM here in Hartford. I think we may have had a little hail, as well. But nothing like I’m seeing in the Kentwood area and my prayers go to those folks and thank heavens no one was seriously injured. It could have been catastrophic with no warning and the time of night.

  12. Travis Ulberg(West of Martin, Allegan County) says:

    We ended up with 2.10″ of rain here last night which is pretty impressive since we didn’t get any of that first batch before midnight.

  13. arcturus says:

    Some of the links are wrong.

  14. arcturus says:

    The 1.68″ reported for GR doesn’t match what the NWS is showing –

    1. Cort S. says:

      The link you posted is the airport automated weather observation system. It is a tipping-bucket rain gauge that traditionally does not do well in heavy rain (it tends to underestimate). There is an 8-inch diameter regular rain gauge in the backyard of the NWS that is used for official precip data.

      1. arcturus says:

        Good to know but it begs the question why the regular gauge isn’t the one that’s reported.

        1. Cort S. says:

          The automated weather station is designed for aviation use. Its rainfall data is usually good up-to-the-minute information, but it is unofficial. Tipping-bucket rain gauges fill with water and then tip it when enough is collected, and that signifies 0.01″ of rain. So it’s a good way to automate rainfall data information at the numerous airports around the country. The gauge in the backyard of the NWS is read by a human, and that official data is what makes it into the climate record at the end of the day.

  15. Well here at my location I have turned out below average from July 1- July 5 so far. Yesterday I reached 83 for a high so that is an average day, and today I will likely have an average day or 1-2 degrees above average. Looks likely temps will hold below average through the forecast period with some average days thrown in, so not so bad. My coolest day this month was July 2 where I only made 70.

  16. INDY says:

    Wow lots of damage around Kentwood streets u can’t even drive down I would have to say this will be from a F2 Tornado !!!!! I have 3 trees down in my yard just means more fire wood for me theee YARDofBRICKS got hit hard!! Best storm since the Derecho…Drink lots of sprites and be safe tonight!! INDYY!!

  17. arcturus says:

    The weather service should issue a disclaimer that the rainfall numbers showing on the automated rainfall system are unofficial … on that page. Wondering if the same dual official/unofficial data confusion is reported when it comes to wind speed, peak gust, direction, etc.

  18. Cort S. says:

    High-end EF-1 tornado, 100-110 mph winds at its strongest.

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Sounds about right. All the trees falling did the damage.

  19. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    Another FANTASTIC summer day! Get outside people! The golf course is calling my name! Imagine that!

    1. matt says:

      imagine that you on the putt putt course. Now that’s a disaster in the making.

    2. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      Watch out for the little windmill blades.

  20. Zach says:

    Watch possible out to the west in Wisconsin

  21. Jack says:

    American League

  22. Mike Geukes says:

    236 PM EDT MON JUL 7 2014

    ON 07/06/14…

    RATING: EF-1

    START DATE: JULY 6 2014

    END DATE: JULY 6 2014
    END TIME: 1030 PM EDT



    EF0…WEAK……65 TO 85 MPH
    EF1…WEAK……86 TO 110 MPH
    EF2…STRONG….111 TO 135 MPH
    EF3…STRONG….136 TO 165 MPH
    EF4…VIOLENT…166 TO 200 MPH
    EF5…VIOLENT…>200 MPH


  23. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    yes, vote for Ricky! Right, Jack?

    1. Jack says:


  24. Mr. Negative says:

    ADA – 2.25 inches of rain overnight. We are officially “damp” through the remainder of 2014.

  25. Hudsonville Barn Cat says:

    An EF1 tornado is not so bad. Here in Hudsonville we an EF5 back in the late 1950′s. It picked up entire families and carried them to Standale, where some of them decided to stay.

  26. Kevin (Marshall) says:

    Severe storms popping up in earnest over western Wisconsin.

  27. arcturus says:

    Was a tornado WATCH at least issued because if not it certainly looks like the weather service blew it.

    1. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

      No it wasn’t. A thunderstorm warning was but it also said could produce hail, damaging winds & isolated tornadoes.

  28. I ended up getting exactly 1 inch of rain from this severe weather system. Looks like I will get some more overnight tonight and chances for rain extending through the week

  29. Dikehopper (Fennville) says:

    I do have to say that I find Cort’s comments to be most informative.

    Muchly appreciated, Cort. I am learning a lot from you.

    1. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

      I ditto that. He is the most informative.

    2. Jack says:

      Indeed.. CORT 4 President ..? LOL… Stay CUEDDD

      1. Cort S. says:

        Don’t forget to vote!

  30. Dikehopper (Fennville) says:

    Nothing much seemed to happen last night here in Fennville. As a matter of fact, my lawn really needs watering. It’s getting pretty brown.

    This is my fifth summer in Fennville. Through those years, all the bad storms have gone either (or both) North or South of us. As I’ve said before, even my (now deceased) mother in Fremont noticed that two or three years ago.

    I’ve read talk about a “Grand Rapids bubble” and a “Kent County bubble” and such things. But there has been nothing quite like the Fennville bubble.

    One might think that these things make me complacent, but I’m old and wise enough to recognize when the gods are setting me up for a surprise. They’ve done it before.

    A famous philosopher once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But at the risk of missing the mark, I’m going to predict how the rest of the summer may go here in Fennville.

    The dry weather will turn into a drought, with a bad derecho. (Rhymes with Jericho, doesn’t it? “And the walls came tumbling down.”) Then a lightning storm will start our forest afire. Then there will be floods and tornadoes. Natural gas leaks will burn the downtown and most of the houses. (I’ll have to go to Douglas for ribs, pizza and liquor.) Large hail will dent everyone’s vehicles. A meteor shower will trigger an earthquake which, in turn, will erupt a volcano. And a tidal wave from Lake Michigan.

    I probably should move while I still can. Is Stevensville a nice little town?

    So anyways, it will be interesting to look back in October and see how my forecasts turned out.

    1. Sandy (Hudsonville) says:

      LOL!!! Your drought will be over when the snow flies. Like they say be careful what you wish for. :)

  31. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    A GREAT weather day today! The golf was outstanding (I shot a 41) and now the temperature pattern just keeps getting better and better! Bring it! INCREDIBLE!

    1. Jack says:

      Here We Go Again….CUE::: Ray Charles – Here we go again – YouTube
      Stay CUEDD & Call Uncle YACK.YACK ….. ;-)

  32. Dan (Byron Center) says:

    You would never even know it got that bad in Wyoming. You reslly have to look at it . Please listen to authorities and stay out of the area. parts of it are just devastated. Storms forming in Wisconsin now? Please no more storms for awhile!

  33. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Virtually no damage here, but there are a bunch of limbs down along Breton between Burton and 28th street.

    Found a small piece of yellow fiberglass insulation in my yard today and didn’t think much about it, but on my run this afternoon around Reeds Lake, I saw probably 20-30 small pieces of both yellow and pink insulation. Guessing if blew here from Kentwood!

  34. fixxxer says:

    Someone really effed up last night not to sound the sirens.

    1. Jack says:

      Here fizzzler , fixxxie… U happy NOW ? Stay CUEDD…fizzzzzzzzzie… ;-)

      1. SDL says:

        Solid Jack!

    2. INDY says:

      No the NWS listen to u last night!!!! INDYYY!!

    3. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Maybe they read your “there will not be any storms” post and went home?

    4. SDL says:

      There were supposed to be no storms….remember fixxer

    5. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      What storms? You said no storms! Imagine that! Worst prediction in weather history!

  35. Mike Geukes says:

    There was 6 injuries associated with the tornado in Kent County yesterday.

    Before that you have to go way back to 1989 for Kent County, where there was a injury associated with a tornado.
    09-06-1989: Info: 1445 EST: Deaths 00: Injuries 01: F-1: Kent

  36. Brian(Grandville) says:

    I drove through the Division and 54th area today, and the damage was pretty amazing. Another bad thing that goes with the severe weather are the traffic lights not working. I don’t know you many people I saw follow 1-3 cars ahead of right through the intersections.

    1. Jack says:

      When a Traffic Light is OUT… It Becomes A FOUR- WAY STOP. !!!!! Wish Folks Would Remember THIS !! Be Safe and STAY CUEDDD…. ;-)

    2. Lisa says:

      It was terrible! I drove through there, but found another route to get back home. Eastbound traffic on 52nd has been backed up at least to Southeast Kelloggsville all day.

  37. ted says:

    lots of tree and crop damage between Ionia and Lyons on Reeder road. One side has it, the other doesn’t.

  38. Cort S. says:

    Vincent and HomeschoolMama,

    Here are the radar images from June 18, from 1:13 to 1:35 pm.

    The line appeared to bow out substantially from Forest Hills to Lowell, indicating strong straight-line winds likely. On the north end of the bow (several miles north of Forest Hills and Lowell), there is a bit of a kink, which tends to be a suspicious area for tornado spin-ups in storms like these. However, velocity scans show possible rotation (if not just simply cyclonic shear along the gust front) broad enough to be considered non-tornadic… there is enough zero velocity separating the red and the green to keep me from jumping at a tornado. Regardless, that may have been an area of enhanced local wind damage. At that distance from the radar, the beam is scanning roughly 500-700 feet above ground.

    1. Cort S. says:

      I should note that that velocity data is Base, not Storm-Relative. Also, in the 1:35 pm scan, you can see how there is green closer to the radar (just northeast of Forest Hills), with red just to the northeast of that, farther from the radar. This indicates divergence, which is more likely a sign of winds spreading out from a microburst (rather than winds converging into a tornado).

      1. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

        Thank you Cort. Very interesting indeed.

    2. HomeschoolMama(Vergennes Twp) says:

      Thank you so much for these! I am going to save them with our damage photos for when the kids get older to see. I was racing home to beat the storm and took a picture of the storm moving in on my phone when we turned on our dirt road. EXIF data on my pic said that was 1:21pm. Started to rain after we got into the garage, about 4 min later, and then approx 10 min after that our trees blew over. That is consistent with your last image 1:35pm in that set. Looking at the map that area that you speak of in your comment below [the green] is right on top of our property! So maybe we experienced a microburst then? Thank you so much for posting these!

    3. HomeschoolMama(Vergennes Twp) says:

      One more thing, can you estimate the wind speed in that area of divergence from these scans? Or is that estimated based on damage reports? I am just really curious how high those winds were near the ground. Thanks again!

  39. fixxxer says:

    Excuse my language but holy s— there’s a lot of damage in Kentwood. Just drove through there as my mother-in-law lives on 44th and Kalamazoo. How the hell did both woodtv, any weather person or the NWS not see the radar indicated tornado? That place is a war zone. Buildings destroyed and cars demolished. very sporadic and weird tornado path too. I take it back i was wrong last night. Poor people.

    1. Katie in Kentwood says:

      They explained in the news conference that the radar sweeps every 4 minutes. This tornado dropped 1 minute after the last sweep and by the next sweep it was done. Just a random freak occurrence that happened too fast for anything to be done about it. Luckily it was 10:30PM and mostly everyone was inside.

      1. SDL says:

        Exactly Katie. Watched the NWS Service Press Conference. You summed it up perfectly.

      2. DF (EGR) says:

        I call BS. Look how many scans are on the previous post by Bill… I watched it for a while last night on velocity.

        1. Cort S. says:

          The first sign of good, warnable rotational convergence was probably at 02:22 Z. Before then there were spurious narrow jets of inflow with fairly straight convergence. Maybe some sign of it starting to organize at 02:18 Z. But it’s real hard to trust that velocity data at 02:18 and before then because it was in an area of very low reflectivity, which makes it prone to noise (see the high spectrum width values). But 02:22 (and 51 seconds) was the frame when it became most obvious, and this was after the tornado was already developed. It could have been warned then (after 1-2 minutes to generate the warning and send it out), but bear in mind that there were numerous other storms in the CWA that were also being watched. At 02:27 (and 17 seconds), the “debris ball” (tornado debris signature on radar) showed up. At 02:31, the rotation was still there but weakened considerably, and a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued a minute prior to that.

          Summary: Realistically, it could have been warned with a negative lead time. I don’t know if it could have been done sooner than that. That would be venturing into a realm of clairvoyance that doesn’t exist: it would be like tornado warning a storm with the same hairline trigger people on the blog use to say, “Is that a hook? TVS!”

    2. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      This is a red letter day in the history of Bill’s blog! fixxxer just admitted he was WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wonders never cease! I have a renewed faith in man kind! Imagine that!

      1. Tom says:

        You may want to practice the same! I just want to know how an annoying kid can afford so much golf & skiing because based on the variable time of your postings and all the golf & skiing you do, you don’t have time for a job!! Already looking forward to “back to school” so we can at least be rid of you during the day. It’s amazing how many of the worthless posters on here have the same IP address as you! IMAGINE THAT!

        1. ER from GR says:

          can you really see their ip address???

        2. DF (EGR) says:

          No, he can’t, but bill can.

        3. GunLakeDeb says:

          While we’re talking about that….doesn’t each device have an ipo address? So assuming that folks have a computer and a tablet and a smart phone, wouldn’t that look, even to an IT Guru, like 3 different people?

        4. Tom says:

          Deb-each device does have a separate “private” IP address but if they connect to the internet using the same modem or router, they all use the same “public” IP address utilizing what they call NATting technology. Anyone can get multiple email address, which is all Rocky needs to post under different user names.

        5. Rocky (Rockford) says:

          Tom you have a serious mental condition! This is not rocket science – if you do not like my comments do not read them! What a concept. Also, I only post under one name, unlike fixxxer who posts under multiple names including Rodey and matt! Get a grip and get a life while you are at it!

  40. Impy says:

    I’m just an avid reader of the blogs here. Not a serial commenter. I find myself amazed at the blasé attitude in wishing for storms. I lost my home to fire and while that’s a different beast, realizing your life’s work has been lost is no different. I love rain and the rumble of thunder. In fact I prefer rain to sun. But those who complain that “no good storms ever hit” or that “another loser year with no really good storms AGAIN” have no idea the utter horror of losing everything and thanking the heavens your family is alive. It’s not just sport. It’s life and death. Be careful what you wish for. Someday it might be you and your words will seem so ignorant.

  41. ER from GR says:

    Watch the language Fixie Pixie

  42. Cliff(KZOO) says:

    glad that I don’t have to hear about the gr bubble anymore. sometimes you get more then you wish for.

    also of interests I find that the west side of Michigan has received substantially more rain than the east side of Michigan this last month.

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:

      The bubble has burst and I hope it comes back very soon!

  43. jeff says:

    Is there a map of the tornado’s path available? Been looking around for one but haven’t found anything.

    1. DF (EGR) says:

      Probably expect it tomorrow.

  44. I know I have talked a ton about this tornado, but MAN I cannot get over the damage around this area. It is very scary that a tornado first touched down 1 mile north of my house. I still have a hard time believing it actually.

    The forest that is completely flattened is actually a forest that I have been to many times (very good hunting there) but that is not the case anymore. Feeling for the families that got hit. Must be awful. We may actually be selling our house here in Byron Center soon so I am glad that it touched down a mile up the road instead of overhead. Crazt thing is, despite being so close to the tornado, I do not have any damage to report at my house

    1. Cort S. says:

      Kind of shatters the false sense of security that we have developed in West Michigan and especially in Grand Rapids. I hope we don’t live to see the day an EF3+ tears through Grand Rapids. There’s no reason that it won’t happen some day, whether in the near or distant future.

      1. Yes we absolutely do not need that. I would hate to see that happen it would be absolutely devastating. Lets hope that never happens around here.

        In the meantime Cort, do you have any data to know when the last tornado was to hit the Byron Center area? Last I thought it was May 20, 1975 and I looked at the tornado path on a map and the path takes it near my house again. Kind of ironic that this would be the 2nd tornado to pass so close.

        1. Cort S. says:

          I think that 1975 F2 tornado is the only other one in the tornado record to hit Byron Center area. There was an F1 to the SW of BC in 1989.

          Also of note, that F5 tornado in the link above got split into two separate tornadoes in recent research:

    2. GunLakeDeb says:

      A week after an F5 tornado wiped my brothers entire subdivision off the face of the Earth, we went to Plainfield, IL to bring him a new van. Words can’t begin to describe what it looked like….Hiroshima comes to mind….

      That path was 1.5 miles wide and 15 miles long. Cort is right, we could have had a larger tornado. Never take severe weather for granted.

  45. Impy says:

    Unsure why I’m not allowed to comment?

    1. Cort S. says:

      That’s the secret passphrase! Now you can comment.

  46. Cort S. says:

    Here is something interesting to consider… this tornado happened on the back side of the thunderstorm… after the heavy rain and lightning had forced people indoors. We are fortunate in that regard. That would have been awful if the tornado happened before the heavy rain started.

  47. Impy says:

    Well that’s a relief! My first comment disappeared into the vast unknown.

  48. Sharkee says:

    I think that this storm was hard to predict?

    1. BOB says:

      I’ve never seen a storm just explode on radar like that one did.

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