US tornado death toll increases to two

Staff WritersAP
A rare tornado has hit a Michigan community, killing at least two people.
Camera IconA rare tornado has hit a Michigan community, killing at least two people. Credit: AP

A second person has died in a rare tornado that hit a small community in northern Michigan, US state police say.

The person was in their 70s and lived in a mobile home park, Derrick Carroll said.

The tornado struck Gaylord, a city of about 4200 people roughly 370km northwest of Detroit, about 3.45pm on Friday.

More than 40 people were injured.

The Nottingham mobile home park, among the first sites hit by the tornado, had "95 per cent destruction," Otsego County Fire Chief Chris Martin said.

"There have been trailers picked up and turned over on top of each other. Just a very large debris field," Martin said.

"Crews are in there right now doing a secondary search with heavy equipment."

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency for the county, making further state resources available.

Extreme spring winds are uncommon in the area because the Great Lakes suck energy out of storms, especially early in the season when the lakes are very cold, said Jim Keysor, a Gaylord-based meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

"Many kids and young adults would have never experienced any direct severe weather if they had lived in Gaylord their entire lives," he said.

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