A tornado struck a small community in northern Michigan on Friday, killing at least one person and injuring at least 23 others as it overturned cars, tore down roofs, uprooted trees and cut power lines.
At around 15:45 local time, the town of Gaylord, about 370 kilometers northwest of Detroit, hit Gaylord, with a population of about 4,200.
Mike Clepadlo, owner of Alter-Start North, a car repair shop, says he and his staff were covered in the bathroom.
“I was lucky to be alive, it exploded behind the building,” he said. “Twenty feet [6 metres] The wall has disappeared. The whole roof is missing. At least half of the building is still here. it is bad”.
“A funnel cloud was coming our way”
15-year-old Emma Goddard said that she was working on a smoothie for a customer when she received a phone call about a tornado. Thinking the weather outside was “stormy but not terrible”, he rejected it and returned to what he was doing. Then her mother called and assured her that she was OK.
“Even two minutes later I was refilling the smoothie when suddenly my co-worker’s mother ran to the front door of the Tropical Smoothie and shouted for us to run to the building as a funnel cloud came our way. “Goddard told the Associated Press in a text message.
They took refuge inside the refrigerator, where the smashing of windows could be heard.
“I was shoulder to shoulder with seven of my co-workers, two of my co-parents և Door Dash, a lady who were coming to pick up her smoothie.”
About 15 minutes later, they came out of the cooler and smelled natural gas, he said.
“As soon as we got out, we were shocked to see some of our cars being torn to pieces all over the ground,” Goddard wrote, noting that the three neighboring businesses had been destroyed.
Munson Healthcare spokesman Brian Lawson said Gaylord-Ocego Memorial Hospital was treating 23 people injured in a tornado that killed one person. He did not know the condition of the wounded, the name of the deceased.
Lawson said the speed of people being brought to the hospital slowed down on Friday night.
“What I am collecting has stabilized a bit,” he said.
A video posted on the Internet shows a dark funnel cloud coming out of the cloud as nervous drivers stare or slowly leave their way uncertain.
Another video showed heavy damage along the city’s Main Street. One building apparently collapsed, and the Goodwill store was badly damaged. The collapsed utility column was on the side of the road, and debris, including electrical wires, and parts of the Marathon gas station were scattered all over the street.
Tornado Damage Today in Gaylord, Michigan… Video by Stephen Bisher pic.twitter.com/RH5SK7U7yJ:
The Red Cross was building a shelter near the church.
Brandi Slow, 42, says he and his teenage daughter are looking for security in Calver’s bathroom. The windows of the fast food restaurant exploded when they came out, and his pickup truck overturned on the roof in the parking lot.
“We shook our heads in disbelief, but thankfully we were safe. “Who cares about the truck at the moment?”
“It ended in less than 5 minutes”
Eddie Trasher, 55, said he was sitting outside his car when a tornado appeared overhead.
“There are roofs that have been torn off from businesses, a number of industrial warehouses,” Thrasher said. “The RVs were turned upside down and destroyed. “There were ambulances moving east of the city.”
He said he ran to the store to take it out.
“My adrenaline rushed like crazy,” Thrasher said. “Everything was over in less than five minutes.”
Extreme winds are rare in this part of Michigan as the Great Lakes absorb energy from storms, especially in the early spring when the lakes are very cold, says Jim Kaiser, an airworthiness specialist in Gaylord National Weather Service.
“Many children and young people would never have lived in bad weather if they had lived in Gaylord all their lives,” he said.
The last time Gaylord had a severe storm was in 1998, when straight-line winds reached 160 km / h, Kaysor said.
He said the conditions that triggered Friday’s turn included a cold front moving from Wisconsin, blowing hot, humid air over Gaylord, with an additional component of winds blowing in the lower atmosphere.
Gaylord, known as the “Alpine Village”, is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year with a centennial celebration that will include an open-air parade at City Hall later this summer.
In July, the community hosts the annual Alpenfest, an inspired Alpine holiday that honors the city’s heritage and collaborates with its sister city in Switzerland.
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