The tornado caused injuries, overturned cars and tore roofs off buildings in a small town.

Gaylord, Michigan – Rare tornado broke through a small community in northern Michigan on Friday, injuring, overturning cars, tearing roofs off buildings and causing other damage.

The ambulance took the victims to the hospital, but the death was not confirmed, state police said.

The tornado struck Gaylord, a community of about 4,200 people about 230 miles northwest of Detroit.

Eddie Thrasher, 55, said he was sitting in his car near a auto parts store when a twister appeared above him.

“There are torn roofs from enterprises, a number of warehouses of industrial type,” said Thrasher. “The revocators were overturned and destroyed. There were a lot of ambulances coming from the east side of the city. “

He said he ran to the store to drive.

“My adrenaline was going like crazy,” Thrasher said. “In less than five minutes it was over.”

Several homes were damaged, trees and power lines were lowered and roads blocked, state police said on Twitter. Pictures posted on social networks show that several vans were broken into pieces in the parking lot.

Mike Klepadla, owner of the Alter-Start North garage, said he and his workers hid in the bathroom.

“I am lucky to be alive. It blew up the back of the building, ”he said. “Twenty feet of the back wall is gone. The whole roof is missing. At least half of the building is still here. That’s bad. “

A video posted on social media shows extensive damage along Gaylord’s main street. One building seemed to have largely collapsed, and the Goodwill store was badly damaged. A collapsed pole lay on the side of the road, and debris was scattered across the street, including electrical wires and parts of the Marathon gas station.

The Otsego Memorial Hospital said it had no comment on people seeking help because of the injuries. The Red Cross arranged a shelter at the church.

Jim Caesar, a National Weather Service meteorologist from Gaylord, said extreme winds are unusual in this part of Michigan because the Great Lakes suck energy out of storms, especially in early spring when the lakes are very cold.

“Many children and young adults would never have experienced any harsh weather if they had lived in Gaylord all their lives,” he said.

The last time Gaylord was severely damaged by a storm was in 1998, when the rectilinear wind reached 100 miles per hour, the weather service said.

Brandy Slough, 42, said she and her teenage daughter were looking for safety at a toilet in Culver. The windows of the fast food restaurant were smashed when they appeared, and her pickup truck overturned on the roof in the parking lot.

“We shook our heads in disbelief, but are grateful for the safety. At the moment, who cares about the truck, ”Slough said.

Gaylord, known as the Alpine Village, will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year with a centennial celebration that will include a parade and an open house at City Hall later this summer.

The community also hosts the annual Alpenfest in July, an Alpine-style celebration in honor of the city’s heritage and a partnership with the twin city of Switzerland.

White reported from Detroit. AP reporters Corey Williams of Detroit, Ken Kusmer of Indianapolis, Sarah Burnett of Chicago and Steve Karnowski of Minneapolis.

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