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Mayor: 2 dead, 44 injured after tornado rips through Gaylord, Michigan

Gov. Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Otsego County in wake of the tornado.

GAYLORD, Mich. — 13 ON YOUR SIDE crews in Gaylord, Michigan have learned that two people are dead and 44 others have been injured following a powerful tornado Friday, according to Todd Sharrard, Mayor of the city of Gaylord.

The extent of those injuries are still unknown as of Friday night. Mayor Sharrard also confirmed dozens of businesses and homes were destroyed following the tornado.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Gaylord in the wake of the devastation, declaring a state of emergency for Otsego County. 

The state of emergency makes available all state resources and authorizes Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to coordinate efforts above and beyond what emergency crews have already been doing.

Credit: Michigan Executive Office of the Governor

MSP plans on holding a news conference at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kirtland Community College in Gaylord regarding the ongoing emergency.

A shelter has been established at E-Free Church in Gaylord located at 1649 E. M-32. Red Cross workers at the shelter say around 50 families have come through seeking assistance as of 9:50 p.m. Friday.

At 3:38 pm on Friday afternoon the National Weather Service (NWS) Office in Gaylord, Michigan issued a tornado warning for Antrim and Ostego counties. Just 3 minutes later at 3:41 that tornado would be observed on the ground and moving toward the city.  

National weather service employees would later observe the tornado as well and that "lots of damage being reported around Gaylord."

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the night. 

-- Meteorologist Michael Behrens

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