Michigan officials provide update on rare tornado that touched down in Gaylord
GAYLORD, Mich. – At least one person died and 44 others were injured when a tornado touched down in Gaylord, Michigan Friday, according to Gaylord Mayor Todd Sharrad.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer arrived in the Michigan city on Friday evening and declared a state of emergency following the tornado and other severe storms in the area.
The damage is severe and officials say it will take days to assess the extent of the damage.
the National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado moved through the area around 3:45 p.m. on May 20.
According to a press release from the Whitmer administration, state resources are available for recovery efforts in the area affected by the tornado.
“I want to thank our brave first responders, our local police and firefighters, and the Michigan State Police troopers who stepped up to keep people safe,” said Sen. Jim Stamas. “It is crucial that people stay indoors if possible and stay away from downed power lines or debris. Let’s all hug our families a little more and work together to rebuild and recover from this storm together. »
Officials say the damage is extensive as those injured were taken to several hospitals after the Gaylord emergency center stopped accepting patience due to lack of electricity as it runs on backup generators.
There were at least 12 homes that were demolished due to the tornado.
A local church in Gaylord provided accommodation for people in need on Friday evening.
The E-Free Church was home to around 10 people as cleanup was underway the night of the natural disaster. The church had such an impact that the Red Cross was set up and ready to welcome people in just two hours after the storm passed.
The church provided wifi and electricity to those who needed it.
“I saw utility poles snapped in half,” said Pastor Scott Distler. “You basically had to navigate like a war zone. You had to navigate things just to try to get to her house and try to get her out of the house and into my house. And then I went down town a bit and started seeing all the damage to the buildings. I didn’t even reach the worst, but it was like driving through a war zone.
Read more: At Least 1 Killed, 44 Injured When Tornado Hits Gaylord: Everything We Know So Far
Below is a statement from Governor Gretchen Whitmer when she declared a state of emergency following the rare tornado that hit Gaylord on May 20, 2022.
I have declared a state of emergency for Otsego County to rush resources to affected areas, and the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to coordinate our state’s response. Our state is grateful to the first responders and utility workers who work hard to keep everyone safe. The Michiganders are tough. We are resilient. And there is no challenge that we cannot meet together.
Governor Gretechen Whitmer
To verify: Photos and videos show extensive tornado damage in the Gaylord area
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