A tornado tore through a small northern Michigan community on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring at least 23 others as it flipped vehicles, tore the roofs off of buildings, and downed trees and power lines.The twister hit Gaylord, a city of about 4,200 people roughly 230 miles northwest of Detroit at around 3:45 p.m.Eddie Thrasher, 55, said he was sitting in his car outside an auto parts store when the tornado seemed to appear above him.“There are roofs ripped off businesses, a row of industrial-type warehouses,” Thrasher said. “RVs were flipped upside down and destroyed. There were a lot of emergency vehicles heading from the east side of town.”He said he ran into the store to ride it out.“My adrenaline was going like crazy,” Thrasher said. “In less than five minutes it was over.”Video posted online showed a dark funnel cloud materialize out of a cloud as nervous drivers slow looked on or slowly drove away, uncertain of its path.Brian Lawson, a spokesman for Munson Healthcare, said Gaylord-Otsego Memorial Hospital was treating 23 people were injured by the tornado and that one person was killed. He didn’t know the conditions of the injured or the name of the person who died.Lawson said the pace of people being brought to the hospital had slowed by Friday evening.“From what I’m gathering, things have stabilized a bit,” he said.Mike Klepadlo, owner of Alter-Start North, a car repair shop, said he and his workers took cover in a bathroom.“I’m lucky I’m alive. It blew the back off the building,” he said. “Twenty feet (6 meters) of the back wall is gone. The whole roof is missing. At least half the building is still here. It’s bad.”Video posted on social media showed extensive damage along the city’s Main Street. One building appeared to be largely collapsed and a Goodwill store was badly damaged. A collapsed utility pole lay on the side of the road, and debris, including what appeared to be electrical wires and parts of a Marathon gas station, was scattered all along the street.The Red Cross was setting up a shelter at a church.Extreme winds are uncommon in this part of Michigan because the Great Lakes suck energy out of storms, especially early in spring when the lakes are very cold, said Jim Keysor, a Gaylord-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service.”Many kids and young adults would have never experienced any direct severe weather if they had lived in Gaylord their entire lives,” he said.The last time Gaylord had a severe wind storm was in 1998, when straight-line winds reached 100 mph, Keysor said.Brandie Slough, 42, said she and a teen daughter sought safety in a restroom at a Culver’s. Windows of the fast food restaurant were blown out when they emerged, and her pickup truck had been flipped on its roof in the parking lot.“We shook our heads in disbelief but are thankful to be safe. At that point, who cares about the truck,” Slough said.Gaylord, known as the “Alpine Village,” is set to celebrate its 100th birthday this year, with a centennial celebration that will include a parade and open house at City Hall later this summer.The community also holds the annual Alpenfest in July, an Alpine-inspired celebration honoring 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, Sara Burnett in Chicago and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed.

A tornado tore through a small northern Michigan community on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring at least 23 others as it flipped vehicles, tore the roofs off of buildings, and downed trees and power lines.

The twister hit Gaylord, a city of about 4,200 people roughly 230 miles northwest of Detroit at around 3:45 p.m.

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

“There are roofs ripped off businesses, a row of industrial-type warehouses,” Thrasher said. “RVs were flipped upside down and destroyed. There were a lot of emergency vehicles heading from the east side of town.”

He said he ran into the store to ride it out.

“My adrenaline was going like crazy,” Thrasher said. “In less than five minutes it was over.”

Video posted online showed a dark funnel cloud materialize out of a cloud as nervous drivers slow looked on or slowly drove away, uncertain of its path.

Brian Lawson, a spokesman for Munson Healthcare, said Gaylord-Otsego Memorial Hospital was treating 23 people were injured by the tornado and that one person was killed. He didn’t know the conditions of the injured or the name of the person who died.

Lawson said the pace of people being brought to the hospital had slowed by Friday evening.

“From what I’m gathering, things have stabilized a bit,” he said.

Mike Klepadlo, owner of Alter-Start North, a car repair shop, said he and his workers took cover in a bathroom.

“I’m lucky I’m alive. It blew the back off the building,” he said. “Twenty feet (6 meters) of the back wall is gone. The whole roof is missing. At least half the building is still here. It’s bad.”

Video posted on social media showed extensive damage along the city’s Main Street. One building appeared to be largely collapsed and a Goodwill store was badly damaged. A collapsed utility pole lay on the side of the road, and debris, including what appeared to be electrical wires and parts of a Marathon gas station, was scattered all along the street.

The Red Cross was setting up a shelter at a church.

In this photo provided by Angela Russ, severe weather damage is seen in Gaylord, Mich., just off the city’s 75 southbound 282 exit, Friday, May 20, 2022.

Angela Russ via AP

In this photo provided by Angela Russ, severe weather damage is seen in Gaylord, Mich., just off the city’s 75 southbound 282 exit, Friday, May 20, 2022. 

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

“Many kids and young adults would have never experienced any direct severe weather if they had lived in Gaylord their entire lives,” he said.

The last time Gaylord had a severe wind storm was in 1998, when straight-line winds reached 100 mph, Keysor said.

Brandie Slough, 42, said she and a teen daughter sought safety in a restroom at a Culver’s. Windows of the fast food restaurant were blown out when they emerged, and her pickup truck had been flipped on its roof in the parking lot.

“We shook our heads in disbelief but are thankful to be safe. At that point, who cares about the truck,” Slough said.

Gaylord, known as the “Alpine Village,” is set to celebrate its 100th birthday this year, with a centennial celebration that will include a parade and open house at City Hall later this summer.

The community also holds the annual Alpenfest in July, an Alpine-inspired celebration honoring 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, Sara Burnett in Chicago and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis contributed.



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