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Huge tornado strikes Northern Michigan leaving one dead and causing ‘heavy damage’

Kansas: Tornado rips through the sky across state

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More than 20 people have been injured and at least one was killed, according to reports. A tornado warning was initially issued at 3:38 pm local time (8:38 pm BST) for Antrim and Otsego counties in Michigan, which included the city of Gaylord.

About 10 minutes later, the tornado warning for Otsego County was updated to note a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado, which was deemed an emergency situation, according to the National Weather Service.

At 3:48 pm local time (8:48 pm), the tornado was spotted by a National Weather Service employee near the intersection of Michigan 32 and Murner Road, about 2 miles west of Gaylord. About five minutes later, the tornado was spotted again about 1 mile east of Gaylord.

At around the same time, large hail was reported to the west of Gaylord, including a 2 inch hail report in Elmira, Michigan, which is about 10 miles west of Gaylord.

At least one large building collapsed while several cars were flipped and damaged. An RV and mobile trailer park was also heavily damaged.

More than 25,000 customers across northern Lower Michigan were without power by early Friday evening, but recovery is ongoing.

Michigan State Police said an unknown number of injured people were being taken to hospitals by ambulance after the vortex struck the city of Gaylord, about 230 miles north of Detroit.

Michigan State Police tweeted: “Trees and power lines blocking roadways. Multiple homes and businesses damaged. Avoid the Gaylord area. Emergency crews are responding.”

They also wrote, “Heavy damage throughout the area,” while posting photos of damage to a shopping centre, a pizza place and a Goodwill location.

NBC affiliate WPBN of Traverse City, Michigan, broadcast images of mobile homes flipped and knocked over at a Gaylord trailer park.

It also showed footage of buildings ripped apart near theatres known as Gaylord Cinema West.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Friday she would commit necessary resources to rebuilding and repairing damaged areas.

She tweeted: “My heart goes out to the families and small businesses impacted by the tornado and severe weather in Gaylord. To the entire Gaylord community—Michigan is with you.”

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Michigan State Police tweeted at 4:46 pm (9:46pm) that emergency crews were en route, with debris including downed trees and power lines blocking roadways, and said “multiple homes and businesses” have been damaged in the storm.

Following the tornado, the Otsego County scanner also had reports of gas leaks in damaged homes.

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