At least 1 dead, 23 injured after tornado strikes northern Michigan

One person has died, an official said.

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

A Munson Healthcare spokesman confirmed that there had been one death and 23 injuries. The spokesperson could not speak to the severity of the injuries.

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.

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.”

William Gretsky contributed to this report.

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