The Tragic Aldi Destruction That Left At Least Two People Dead

When it comes to the popular German grocer, typically, you'll find news related to great finds, terrific deals, and Aldi cult followings, however, the chain is now making headlines for a very different reason. On Friday, May 20, a tornado with winds of up to 150 mph pummeled through Gaylord, Michigan, ripping apart a local Aldi store (per USA Today). The twister, per the local National Weather Service, was rated a category EF3.

According to All-State, tornado ratings on the Enhanced Fujita Scale range from EF0 to EF5, with a category one tornado causing damage such as "loss of exterior home doors and windows, or a severely stripped roof." The category three tornado that tore through the Michigan town destroyed the roof of a Hobby Lobby, took down trees and power lines, and even flipped over cars (via USA Today). 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Otsego County on Friday and tweeted "My heart goes out to the families and small businesses impacted by the tornado and severe weather in Gaylord. To the entire Gaylord community—Michigan is with you. We will do what it takes to rebuild."

Tornado causes 'catastrophic' damage

One Redditor posted the above photo in the r/aldi thread with the caption "My aldi in Gaylord Michigan," along with a sad face emoji. And while most commented well wishes for the Aldi store and the tornado-wrecked area, there were some who used the opportunity to crack jokes. This weather event, however, is no laughing matter, as USA Today reports at least 44 people were taken to the hospital for related injuries, and state police Lt. Derrick Carroll stated that two people in their 70s were killed.

Mayor Todd Sharrard said, "I've never seen anything like this in my life." One resident, Laurie Noa, said "It was loud, like a train roaring," and another stated that they witnessed RVs fully flipped over. 

Gaylord City Council member, Jordan Awrey, told CNN "It took out an insane amount of buildings and just jeopardized so many lives." The outlet notes that it's a rare occurrence for this part of Michigan to have a tornado, and the damage is "catastrophic." UpNorthLive ABC obtained a video of the category three tornado, and we must warn — viewer discretion is advised.