Michigan Tornado Causes ‘Catastrophic’ Damage

First responders are assessing the damage caused by the tornado, according to Gorno, who described the scene as “catastrophic,” with cars turned over and structures destroyed.

“It’s a busy downtown area and it went right through it,” he said.

“We’re not used to it here,” he said. “We don’t have sirens like in other parts of the country.”

Michigan State Police tweeted: “Trees and power lines block roads. Several homes and businesses damaged. Avoid the Gaylord area. Emergency services respond.”

They later wrote, “Heavy damage throughout the area,” posting photos of damage to a shopping center, pizzeria and Goodwill location.

A photo posted to Twitter by the Michigan State Patrol shows tornado damage at a mall in the town of Gaylord.

National Weather Service meteorologist Sean Christensen told CNN the twister hit west of downtown near Interstate 75 and moved east to northeast.

About 35 percent of utilities in Otsego County — including Gaylord — experienced power outages Friday afternoon, according to tracking website PowerOutage.us.

About 25,000 people live in Gaylord and Otsego County, according to the US Census Bureau. The village is located about 235 miles north of Detroit.

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

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