Michigan town recovers after devastating tornado

Power has been restored to a northern Michigan community hit by a fierce tornado, authorities said Sunday.

Two people were killed and more than 40 were injured by the tornado in Gaylord on Friday.

A missing person was initially reported, but has since been found.

The town of about 4,200 people about 230 miles (370 kilometers) northwest of Detroit was clearing debris and cleaning streets Sunday.

Some 6,100 homes in Otsego County, where Gaylord is located, lost power due to the tornado, according to Consumers Energy. Police said Sunday that 99% of the homes in Gaylord have already been restored to service.

The tornado spawned 140 mph (225 kph) winds, ripping off roofs and walls and destroying nearly an entire trailer park.

Such tornadoes are not common in northern Michigan. Police Lt. Derrick Carroll said the city doesn’t have tornado sirens, but those with cell phones were alerted about 10 minutes before the whirlpool hit.

The Nottingham Forest RV camp was one of the first places impacted. Two people, in their 70s, died there, police said.

Some of the vehicles in the camp were picked up and thrown by the gale.

Vic Ouellett, a local councilman, recounted that a piece of debris thrown by the tornado injured his wife in a vertebra when the couple took refuge in the basement of their house.

“I literally saw the pieces hit her, hit her from behind and knocked her down and fell on top of her,” Vic Ouellett told the Petoskey News-Review.

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