Texas

A rare tornado in northern Michigan killed 1 and injured more than 40

Gaylord, Mitch. – A rare tornado in northern Michigan tore apart a small community on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring more than 40 others while overturning vehicles, ripping roofs off buildings and knocking down trees and power lines.

The strike struck Gaylord, a city of about 4,200 people, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northwest of Detroit at about 3:45 p.m.

Mike Klepadlo, who owns Alter-Start North, said he and his workers hid in the bathroom.

“I am just happy to be alive. He blew up the back of the building, “he said. “Twenty feet (6 meters) from the back wall are gone. The whole roof is missing. At least half of the building is still here. This is bad.”

Emma Goddard, 15, said she was working at Tropical Smoothie when she received a phone call about the tornado. Thinking the weather outside looked “stormy but not scary,” she dismissed it and went back to what she was doing. Then her mother called and she assured her mother that she was fine.

Advertising

Two minutes later, she was pouring embarrassment on a client when her colleague’s mother rushed to shout for them to go to the back of the building, Goddard told the Associated Press in a text message. They took shelter in the refrigerator, where they could hear the splashing of windows.

“I was crammed side by side with my seven colleagues, two of my colleagues’ parents, and a lady from Door Dash who was coming to pick up the trouble.”

When they came out of the cooler about 15 minutes later and went outside, they saw “some of our cars in pieces and insulation all over the world,” Goddard said. Three neighboring businesses were destroyed, she said.

Brian Lawson, a spokesman for Munson Healthcare, said Otsego Memorial Hospital was treating 23 people injured in the tornado and that one person had died. He did not know the condition of the wounded or the name of the deceased.

The Michigan State Patrol confirmed that one person had died, tweeting that more than 40 others had been injured and were being treated at district hospitals. The patrol plans to hold a briefing on Saturday morning.

Advertising

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Mayor Todd Sharard. “I’m numb.”

A video posted online shows that a dark cloud of funnel materializes from a cloud as nervous drivers watch it or slowly walk away, unsure of its path.

Another video shows major damage to the city’s main street. One building looked largely collapsed and the Goodwill store was badly damaged. A collapsed utility pole lay on the side of the road and debris, including what looked like electrical wires and parts of the Marathon gas station, were scattered across the street.

The Red Cross set up a shelter in a church.

Brandi Slough, 42, said she and her teenage daughter had sought safety at Culver’s restroom. The windows of the fast food restaurant were blown out when they came out, and her pickup truck overturned on the roof of the parking lot.

“We shook our heads in disbelief, but we are grateful to be safe. At this point, who cares about the truck, “Slough said.

Advertising

Eddie Thrasher, 55, said he was sitting in his car in front of an auto parts store when the tornado appeared to appear above him.

“There are torn roofs from businesses, a number of industrial warehouses,” Thrasher said. “The cars were turned upside down and destroyed. There were many ambulances moving from the eastern part of the city.

He said he ran to the store to get him out.

“My adrenaline was going crazy,” Thrasher said. “It’s over in less than five minutes.”

Extreme winds are uncommon in this part of Michigan because the Great Lakes draw energy from storms, especially in early spring when the lakes are very cold, said Jim Caesar, a Gaylord-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Many children and young adults would never have had a hard time if they had lived in Gaylord all their lives,” he said.

The last time Gaylord had a strong windstorm was in 1998, when the winds in a straight line reached 100 miles per hour, Caesar said. He said the conditions that caused Friday’s wave included a cold front moving from Wisconsin and hitting hot and humid air over Gaylord, with the added ingredient to reverse winds in the lower atmosphere.

Advertising

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Now County, providing additional state resources to the county.

Gaylord, known as the “Alpine Village”, will celebrate its 100th birthday this year with a centennial celebration that will include a parade and town hall open later this summer.

The community also hosts the annual Alpenfest in July, an alpine-inspired celebration of the city’s heritage and a partnership with a sister city in Switzerland.

___

White reported from Detroit. AP reporters Corey Williams in Detroit, Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis, Sarah Burnett in Chicago and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

A rare tornado in northern Michigan killed 1 and injured more than 40

Source link A rare tornado in northern Michigan killed 1 and injured more than 40

Back to top button