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Tornado tears through small Michigan town, tearing roofs off buildings, flipping RVs upside down

Trailers are destroyed, trees are knocked down and roofs are ripped off homes as tornado tears through Michigan town leaving more than 3,000 without power

  • No immediate reports of injuries or deaths caused by the tornado that hit Gaylord, a community of about 4,200 people 230 miles northwest of Detroit 
  • Eddie Thrasher, 55, said he was sitting in his car outside an auto parts store when the twister 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’
  • ‘My adrenaline was going like crazy,’ Thrasher said. ‘In less than five minutes it was over’
  • Multiple homes were damaged and trees and powerlines were downed an blocking roads, the State Police said on Twitter 
  • About 3,000 customers in the area were left without power, according to Consumer Energy 

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A tornado tore through a small community in Michigan‘s northern Lower Peninsula on Friday, flipping vehicles, tearing the roofs off buildings and causing other damage.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths caused by the tornado that hit Gaylord, a community of roughly 4,200 people about 230 miles northwest of Detroit.

About 3,000 customers in the area were left without power, according to Consumer Energy

Eddie Thrasher, 55, said he was sitting in his car outside an auto parts store when the twister 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.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths caused by the tornado that hit Gaylord, a community of roughly 4,200 people about 230 miles northwest of Detroit

A tornado tore through a small community in Michigan 's northern Lower Peninsula on Friday, flipping vehicles, tearing the roofs off buildings and causing other damage

A tornado tore through a small community in Michigan ‘s northern Lower Peninsula on Friday, flipping vehicles, tearing the roofs off buildings and causing other damage

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

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

Multiple homes were damaged and trees and powerlines were downed an blocking roads, the State Police said on Twitter

Multiple homes were damaged and trees and powerlines were downed an blocking roads, the State Police said on Twitter

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

Lt. Jim Gorno of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called some of the scenes ‘catastrophic’ 

Multiple homes were damaged and trees and powerlines were downed an blocking roads, the State Police said on Twitter. Images shared on social media showed multiple RVs shredded to pieces in a parking lot.

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 Gaylord’s Main Street. 

A tornado quickly moved through Gaylord in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan on Friday afternoon

A tornado quickly moved through Gaylord in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan on Friday afternoon

Video posted on social media showed extensive damage along Gaylord's Main Street

Video posted on social media showed extensive damage along Gaylord’s Main Street

Lt. Jim Gorno of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called some of the scenes 'catastrophic'

Lt. Jim Gorno of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources called some of the scenes ‘catastrophic’

A truck flipped over and knocks into a local restaurant in downtown Gaylord

A truck flipped over and knocks into a local restaurant in downtown Gaylord

The havok wreaked from inside a Michigan store during the tornado

The havok wreaked from inside a Michigan store during the tornado

One building appeared to be largely collapsed and part of a Goodwill store was 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.

Otsego Memorial Hospital said it had no comment yet about any injuries it might have treated.

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.

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