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NWS: Gaylord tornado rated an EF3, max winds of 150 mph

Posted at 5:14 PM, May 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-22 03:53:10-04

GAYLORD, Mich. — The National Weather Service Gaylord confirmed Saturday that Friday afternoon’s deadly tornado in Otsego County has been rated an EF3 with wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour.

According to the NWS's Public Information Statement, the tornado touched down about six miles south of Elmira in Antrim County, then strengthened as it crossed Otsego County before lifting about one mile northeast of Sparr.

NWS report on Gaylord tornado

The survey shows the tornado traveled for 16.6 miles for 20 minutes, from 3:35 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.

Michigan State Police says as of 10 a.m. Saturday, there are two confirmed deaths and at least 44 people hospitalized.

NWS report on Gaylord tornado

Dozens of homes and businesses are damaged or destroyed.

The Nottingham Forest Mobile Home Park is one of the first sites the tornado hit.

Otsego County Fire Chief Chris Martin says there are about 70 homes there and it had “95% destruction.”

FOX 17 also learned both confirmed deaths originated from the mobile home park.

Gaylord tornado

Governor Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Gaylord Friday night and declared a state of emergency for Otsego County, which makes all state resources available for recovery efforts.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II toured the area Saturday to assess the damage before giving an update on the recovery efforts.

Lt Gov Gilchrist tours Gaylord tornado

Otsego County also declared a local state of emergency, which activates local emergency response and recovery plans.

Gaylord tornado path

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