Tornadoes touch down across US, killing toddler in Michigan and injuring 5 in Maryland

LIVONIA, Mich. – A tornado killed a 2-year-old boy and injured his mother Wednesday when a tree fell on their house in suburban Detroit, while emergency workers in Maryland were responding to reports of collapsed structures with people trapped inside after a tornado there.

Officials in Livonia, Michigan, said in a post on the city’s website that the quick-developing tornado struck several neighborhoods in the city on Wednesday afternoon.

A massive tree was uprooted and fell onto the family’s house and through the roof, landing on a bed where the woman and her 2-year-old were sleeping, officials said. Crews worked for nearly an hour to remove the roof and parts of the tree and then lift the tree to get the victims out.

The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. The mother was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

A 2-week-old sibling who was in a crib in a separate room was not injured but taken to a hospital for an evaluation, Livonia Fire Department Chief Robert Jennison told WDIV-TV.

“This is a terrible tragedy for our community,” Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan said in the statement. “Our hearts are broken, too, and we send our deepest sympathies.”

The city of Livonia activates warning sirens based on notifications from the National Weather Service or tornado reports, officials said. However, Livonia Emergency Preparedness Director Brian Kahn said in the statement that the city did not receive any advance warning from the agency or others.

A representative from the weather service called it a spin-up storm that didn’t show up on their radars in enough time to issue a warning, according to city officials.

The National Weather Service in Detroit confirmed on the social platform X Wednesday night that an EF1 tornado with a peak wind speed of 95 mph (153 kmh) moved through Livonia. The agency said the twister traveled a path spanning over 5 miles (8 kilometers), uprooting and damaging trees and damaging some houses.

In Maryland, emergency workers responded to reports that people were trapped inside structures that collapsed after a tornado was spotted in the area during rounds of strong storms Wednesday night.

A tornado was spotted in a suburban area of Montgomery County northwest of Washington, the National Weather Service said in a social media post warning people in the area to take cover.

There were reports of three collapsed structures in Gaithersburg with people trapped inside, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer said.

Piringer said the most significant damage occurred when a large tree fell on a single-family house, leaving five people injured, including one with traumatic injuries. He said they were all transported to a hospital.

Local television footage showed large downed trees that damaged houses when they fell.

David Pazos, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue assistant chief, said there were a lot of power outages.

“We don’t know what people’s needs are, so we’re having to go door to door to assess whether they need fire and rescue services or need relocation because of damage to their homes,” he said.

Tornado warnings were still being issued throughout the state and in Delaware on Wednesday night.

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This story has corrected to show that the Livonia fire chief is Robert Jennison, not Robert Johnson.


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