GAYLORD, Mich. – Officials confirmed that the Gaylord tornado was an EF-3 with maximum winds of around 150 mph and at its widest, the tornado was 200 yards.
At least 70 mobile homes were destroyed by the tornado.
Officials say the tornado was on the ground for about 20 minutes and covered 16.6 miles. To put that into perspective, the distance is equivalent to the distance from Downtown Detroit to the Somerset Collection in Troy.
Two people were killed and 44 were injured. Of those who passed away, both victims were in their 70s and were found in the mobile home park where the tornado originally started its route.
Some Gaylord residents, like Shawn Law, consider themselves lucky.
“I wasn’t thinking I might not make it. I’m thinking I can’t hold onto my wife and son tight enough,” Law said while sharing his experience surviving Friday’s tornado.
The National Weather Service said the tornado moved through Gaylord at 3:48 p.m. Friday. The damage to homes, vehicles and businesses was severe.
Officials say that FEMA isn’t going out to Gaylord till Wednesday.
“In times of disaster, we are keeping the health and safety of Michiganders at the forefront of cleanup efforts that protect our state’s environment,” EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. “We are committed to help build a safe path to recovery.”