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Power fully restored to Gaylord residents; recovery efforts continue

More than 250 Consumers Energy employees and contractors worked to restore power in Gaylord.

GAYLORD, Mich — Power has been fully restored to all residents in Gaylord following Friday's tornado that left two dead and injured dozens, Consumers Energy confirms.

More than 250 Consumers Energy employees and contractors worked since Friday to restore power and make repairs.

The rare tornado flipped cars and damaged businesses and homes along Main Street. There are no persons unaccounted for as of Sunday morning after a primary and secondary search was completed.

State police say the two people who died were both in their 70s and lived in the Nottingham Forest Mobile Home Park, which officials say was hardest hit by the tornado. Over 40 people were injured.

"There's trailers picked up and thrown on top of each other, and a large debris field from the trailers," said Otsego County Fire Chief Chris Martin. 

Residents of the Park were allowed to return to their properties Sunday, although the area is "95 percent destruction," said Martin.

Lifelong Gaylord resident Dustin Radke was among those inside of the mobile homes at Nottingham when the tornado hit. 

"I slammed the door shut as soon as the wind started, the door flew open, I saw stuff flying," Radke told 13 ON YOUR SIDE. "I grabbed the dogs and a tree came right through the house and I took cover to the back bedroom."

RELATED: Gaylord's deadly tornado gets an upgraded rating

The National Weather Service rated the tornado and EF3, which makes the twister the strongest in Gaylord since at least 2007.

"We came out and heard people screaming and yelling," Radke said.

Once the tornado travelled east on M-32, it left a path of destruction in its wake on Main Street, then moved north through residential neighborhoods.

On Saturday, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II visited Gaylord to assess the damage and offer support for the victims and first responders. 

"I want to thank all of the first responders, all those persons who have come from so many communities across northern and central and every corner of Michigan to come and support this community here in Gaylord," Gilchrist said.

RELATED: How did the tornado move through Gaylord? Officials answer

Michigan State Police also announced the local hospital has regained power and is no longer running on a generator.

Right now, M-32 and I-75 are open and secondary roads will close as needed. 

On Saturday, Consumers Energy passed out free barbecue meals to residents.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer arrived Friday night to meet with first responders and declared a state of emergency for Otsego County, meaning resources from across the state are being activated to help in the cleanup. 

Otsego County residents are also asked to report all the damage done to their property to the Michigan State Police using this survey. Residents without internet access are asked to dial 211 from any phone to report their damage.

The Otsego County United Way has received such an overwhelming amount donations for residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed that they had to move to a larger location. You can donate to the county's disaster relief fund here.

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