One dead, 44 injured in Michigan tornado that swept through homes and businesses

One person has died and 44 others were injured when a tornado hit northern Michigan Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Michigan state police confirmed the fatal accident Friday night and said 44 people had been taken to multiple hospitals in Northern Michigan. The patients’ conditions were not available.

The tornado struck the town of Gaylord, about 230 miles north of Detroit, damaging an unknown number of homes and businesses and cutting down trees and power lines, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

At a news conference Friday night, the governor signed a declaration of emergency for Otsego County, which includes Gaylord. “We will do everything we can to rebuild it,” she said.

NBC affiliate WPBN of Traverse City, Michigan, broadcast footage of mobile homes flipped and knocked over at a Gaylord trailer park. It also showed images of buildings torn apart near theaters known as Gaylord Cinema West.

Power outages in the area prompted Gaylord’s Otsego Memorial Hospital to divert some new patients to other facilities, the station reported.

More than 14,000 customers in Northern Michigan were without power on Friday PowerOutage.USincluding more than a third of Gaylord’s utility users.

The town of Gaylord has imposed a curfew from 7:00 pm to 8:00 am and asked residents to take shelter on site, according to the state police.

Whitmer said earlier in the day she would deploy the funds to support reconstruction.

“My heart goes out to the families and small businesses affected by the Gaylord tornado and storm,” she said. tweeted. “To the entire Gaylord community – Michigan is with you.”

An employee of the National Weather Service reported to have seen a tornado touched down on the west side of Gaylord at 3:53 p.m. National Weather Service meteorologist Rich Pollman said by email that the agency had initially confirmed the tornado.

Details of the tornado’s strength and path were pending the completion of storm investigations.

The agency’s process for fully confirming tornadoes usually includes: a following day walk through the affected area to measure the possible path and damage.

A supercell thunderstorm triggered the tornado that hit the city, the National Weather Service said in a statement statement

The supercell was formed when thunderstorms swept across Michigan. Low surface pressures strengthened west of Lake Michigan, pulling warm, moist air north across the state and creating instability to support the storms, the weather service said.

After producing the tornado that struck Gaylord, the supercell would drop baseball-sized hail on Posen, a village 80 miles to the east, the agency said.

Federal forecasters said severe storms from lower Michigan to southern Oklahoma and eastern Texas were possible through Saturday.

Janhvi Bhojwanic TJ Swigart and Phil Helsel contributed