June 26, 2022

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‘Heavy damage’ reported after tornado strikes northern Michigan

No fatalities have been reported so far, police said.

Multiple people were injured and “heavy damage” reported after a destructive tornado tore through northern Michigan Friday afternoon, authorities said.

Michigan State Police for the Seventh District confirmed that a tornado touched down in Otsego County.

“Trees and power lines blocking roadways. Multiple homes and businesses damaged,” the agency said on Twitter. “Avoid the Gaylord area. Emergency crews are responding.”

State police said there was “heavy damage” throughout the area and that an unspecified number of people were transported to local hospitals with injuries. There are no confirmed deaths at this time, police said.

Residents in Gaylord are asked to shelter in place through 8 a.m. Saturday due to the “ongoing emergency,” state police said.

Images from the scene showed leveled buildings, damaged roofs on businesses, downed trees and cars flipped over.

“My heart goes out to the families and small businesses impacted by the tornado and severe weather in Gaylord,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Twitter. “To the entire Gaylord community — Michigan is with you. We will do what it takes to rebuild.”

A severe thunderstorm watch had been issued for the region through the evening, with the National Weather Service warning that “an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in the greater area.”