Toddler killed in Michigan and family rescued in Maryland as tornadoes batter Northeast

A two-year-old boy was killed when an enormous tree uprooted by a tornado landed on a family home in a suburb of Detroit, as storms left a trail of destruction across the interior Northeast on Wednesday, leaving families trapped in their homes.

The tree fell through the roof and landed on a bed where the child and his mother were sleeping at about 3:30 p.m. in Livonia, Michigan — the latest fatality in a long and deadly tornado season.

The unidentified woman was taken to a local hospital and was in a critical condition, the City Of Livonia said in a statement, while the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Crews worked tirelessly for nearly an hour to remove the roof, parts of the tree, and then lift the tree with high-pressure air bags to extricate the victims,” the statement said.

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

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado rated EF-1, with winds of up to 95 mph, touched down in Livonia and moved 5.5 miles with a width of 450 yards.

Elsewhere, a powerful storm produced a tornado that moved 45 miles across Montgomery County, Maryland, Wednesday. Five people were injured in the city of Gaithersburg, Maryland, north of Washington D.C., when a large tree fell on their house. Four of the five required rescue and all were taken to a local hospital for treatment — fire officials said one suffered a “traumatic injury.”

“They were pulled out of a room right here underneath all this debris. There was some pretty significant damage, there were some injuries,” said Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer in a post on X.

He shared a video showing an enormous uprooted tree on its side, having partially destroyed the house.

Videos uploaded to social media show a huge funnel cloud above Gaithersburg — to the surprise of residents of an area not accustomed to tornadic activity. “First #tornado I’ve ever seen, crazy for MD!” wrote one person on X.

“When it came through … it just looked an eerie color and then all of a sudden it happened really fast, and we heard a foundation kind of shake kind of thing,” one Gaithersburg resident told NBC Washington, without giving their name.

One storm chaser, Mark Monis, captured the moment the twister hit Gaithersburg, while he sat in his car. He told NBC Washington: “I was like, ‘Jesus, this could have been worse.’ So, thank God it was probably just an F0 or F1. If it picked up my truck, I’d probably have been dead.”

At least four houses were damaged elsewhere in Montgomery County, with 88 weather incidents reported between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Fire crews were also investigating reported storm damage in the Williams Estates area of Baltimore County.

An emergency shelter was opened in Frazeysburg, a village in rural Ohio Thursday morning. There were no reports of injuries there as what the local sheriff’s office called a tornado caused widespread damage.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout Thursday across the East Coast today, the National Weather Service said in a forecast, while a severe heat wave continues in western states and Texas.

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