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Tornado hits Michigan, killing toddler, while Ohio and Maryland storms injure at least 13

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Tornado hits Michigan, killing toddler, while Ohio and Maryland storms injure at least 13
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Tornado hits Michigan, killing toddler, while Ohio and Maryland storms injure at least 13

2024-06-07 04:16 Last Updated At:04:21

BALTIMORE (AP) — A tornado that ripped through suburban Detroit earlier this week downed trees that smashed through the roof of Abby Sata’s family home, sending water gushing below.

Though they now have a giant crane taking trees off the house, they were lucky no one was hurt. The tornado that damaged Sata’s home in Livonia, Michigan, tore through several neighborhoods and felled a tree that killed a toddler on Wednesday. It developed so quickly that there was no advance notice from the National Weather Service or others that would have normally led to the activation of warning sirens.

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Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

BALTIMORE (AP) — A tornado that ripped through suburban Detroit earlier this week downed trees that smashed through the roof of Abby Sata’s family home, sending water gushing below.

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left a gas station heavily damaged on West Ten Mile Road, in Farmington Hills, Mich., June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left a gas station heavily damaged on West Ten Mile Road, in Farmington Hills, Mich., June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

An injured tornado victim is transported in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

An injured tornado victim is transported in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Part of a downed tree is tangled in power lines behind homes on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Part of a downed tree is tangled in power lines behind homes on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A downed tree lays on the roof of a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A downed tree lays on the roof of a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

People walk around Rotary Park looking at downed trees after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

People walk around Rotary Park looking at downed trees after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A fallen tree lays near a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A fallen tree lays near a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Sheri Redd stands in her driveway as fallen trees surround her home after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Sheri Redd stands in her driveway as fallen trees surround her home after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Workers remove parts of trees at a home on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Workers remove parts of trees at a home on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Several trees slammed into a structure at Rotary Park in Livonia, MIch., Wednesday, June 5, 2024 as a tornado tore through the western Wayne County community. (Nolan Finley/The Detroit News via AP)

Several trees slammed into a structure at Rotary Park in Livonia, MIch., Wednesday, June 5, 2024 as a tornado tore through the western Wayne County community. (Nolan Finley/The Detroit News via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Laure (cq) Hibberd and her son, Johnny Hibberd walk past a downed tree at Rotary Park after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Laure (cq) Hibberd and her son, Johnny Hibberd walk past a downed tree at Rotary Park after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Sata, 21, said she got a storm warning on her phone but no indication that a tornado was lurking.

“I was in shock,” she said. “It would have been very helpful. Even three seconds before the tornado would have given me a heads-up.”

The twister in Livonia “spun up almost as quickly as it started to dissipate,” said Jaclyn Anderson, a meteorologist with the Detroit office of the National Weather Service. The tornado, which was of a type known for being weak and brief, traveled a path of about 5 miles (8 kilometers). More powerful tornadoes generated from intense storms can stay on the ground for 30, 40 or even 100 miles and are much easier to anticipate and issue warnings for, she said.

While tornado-forecasting equipment has improved “tenfold” over the past few decades, relying on a combination of weather radar and local observations, Anderson said short-lived tornadoes can still be “quite challenging when it comes to getting warnings out.”

Forecasters create tornado outlooks every day, factoring in different weather elements, said Victor Gensini, an associate professor at Northern Illinois University who studies tornadoes and extreme weather. But sometimes those conditions happen on a small scale — for instance, a sudden breeze coming off a lake.

It has been a grim spring for tornadoes in the U.S. April had the second-highest number of tornadoes for that month on record in the country.

In suburban Maryland, a line of storms produced unusually strong tornadoes that felled trees, damaged buildings and downed power lines Wednesday night.

But while Gensini did say that the national numbers are a little above average at the moment, it’s too early to make definitive statements about the tornado year as a whole. He said the U.S. can get as many as 1,500 tornadoes a year, and this time of year is statistically the most likely for tornado activity in the U.S.; many of them just aren’t in high-profile places or aren’t captured in clear images.

“The tornadoes that have occurred this year have been very visible,” he said.

Gensini, who also studies how climate change is affecting tornado activity, said that the science of attributing twister-spawning storms to climate change is still in its infancy, and it can be hard to connect the dots to one individual tornado. But looking at broader-scale trends, his team has found an increasing likelihood of tornadoes developing in regions farther south and east in the U.S. than in the past.

Tornado warnings were issued for parts of several other states on Wednesday night, including Ohio, New Jersey and Delaware. In Ohio, a suspected tornado ripped away a gas station canopy and heavily damaged a restaurant and a discount store early Thursday in the eastern village of Frazeysburg. Eight people suffered minor injuries, mostly from flying debris, said Jeff Jadwin, the emergency management director in Muskingum County.

While tornadoes are not unheard of in Maryland, they are relatively rare — especially outbreaks of the volume seen Wednesday night. At least five people were injured and the weather service issued 22 tornado warnings Wednesday, the fourth-most issued in a single day by the office that covers much of Maryland, the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and the eastern West Virginia panhandle, according to Kevin Rodriguez, lead meteorologist at the weather service office in Sterling, Virginia.

“It was a very busy night,” said National Weather Service Hydrologist Jeremy Geiger. “It’s one of those things, all the right ingredients that come together at the right time. So that’s always the question.”

Geiger said it wasn’t a super high-energy storm system, but the wind shear and other factors gave it a boost and created the rotation that allows tornadoes to form. He said the system was especially challenging because forecasters were issuing flash flood warnings and tornado warnings simultaneously, with some residents being advised to seek high ground and others sheltering in the basement.

In Gaithersburg, Maryland, George Mhaano told WJLA-TV that a crane might be needed to lift a tree off his home, so he would probably stay at a hotel. When the tornado hit, Mhanno said he heard loud thuds and banging on the window, so he hid in a bathtub. Later, firefighters came knocking and told him to get out, which he did.

“Thank God, I wasn’t hurt. And thank God, everyone at my house was at church,” Mhaano told WJLA-TV. “This is just material. It can be replaced or fixed. No one got hurt, so that’s all that matters.”

Walling reported from Chicago. Ed White contributed from Detroit.

The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org.

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left homes damaged and trees destroyed on Houghton Street, in Livonia, Mich., Thursday, June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left a gas station heavily damaged on West Ten Mile Road, in Farmington Hills, Mich., June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Powerful storms the night before left a gas station heavily damaged on West Ten Mile Road, in Farmington Hills, Mich., June 6, 2024. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

An injured tornado victim is transported in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

An injured tornado victim is transported in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Part of a downed tree is tangled in power lines behind homes on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Part of a downed tree is tangled in power lines behind homes on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A downed tree lays on the roof of a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A downed tree lays on the roof of a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

People walk around Rotary Park looking at downed trees after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

People walk around Rotary Park looking at downed trees after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A fallen tree lays near a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

A fallen tree lays near a home on Hubbard Street after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Sheri Redd stands in her driveway as fallen trees surround her home after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Sheri Redd stands in her driveway as fallen trees surround her home after a tornado struck the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Workers remove parts of trees at a home on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Workers remove parts of trees at a home on Hubbard Street after a storm in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Several trees slammed into a structure at Rotary Park in Livonia, MIch., Wednesday, June 5, 2024 as a tornado tore through the western Wayne County community. (Nolan Finley/The Detroit News via AP)

Several trees slammed into a structure at Rotary Park in Livonia, MIch., Wednesday, June 5, 2024 as a tornado tore through the western Wayne County community. (Nolan Finley/The Detroit News via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Injured tornado victims are moved to the front yard of a neighbor's home in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday, June 5, 2024, before being transported to a hospital. Several people were hurt when a large tree collapsed on a house on Dogwood Drive. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via AP)

Laure (cq) Hibberd and her son, Johnny Hibberd walk past a downed tree at Rotary Park after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

Laure (cq) Hibberd and her son, Johnny Hibberd walk past a downed tree at Rotary Park after a tornado swept through the area in Livonia, Mich., Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Robin Buckson/Detroit News via AP)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Republican vice presidential nominee JD Vance will make his first solo appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 2024 presidential race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped out of the race, leaving the Democratic candidate an open question.

Vance, an Ohio senator, is scheduled to hold a rally in his hometown of Middletown, followed by an evening event in Radford, Virginia, fresh off his rally debut with Donald Trump over the weekend.

Vance had been expected to eventually face Vice President Kamala Harris in a debate. But with Biden dropping out and the Democratic ticket unsettled, the senator is following Trump’s lead and focusing on attacking Biden and Harris jointly.

“President Trump and I are ready to save America, whoever’s at the top of the Democrat ticket,” Vance said Sunday in a post on X. “Bring it on.”

Trump’s campaign plans to use Vance, who became the GOP vice presidential nominee last week, in Rust Belt states that are seen as pivotal for Democrats’ path to the White House, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and places where the senator’s blue collar roots and populist views are expected to resonate.

Middletown, between Cincinnati and Dayton, is considered to be part of the Rust Belt. Using it as the location for his first solo event as the vice presidential nominee not only allows Vance to lean into his biography, which he laid out in his bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” but it gives the campaign a chance to establish a fresh groundswell in a former swing state that has been trending Republican.

While Republicans promoted a unifying message last week and decried inflammatory language in the wake of the assassination attempt against Trump, one of the first speakers to introduce Vance at the rally suggested the country may need to come to civil war if Trump loses in November.

“I believe wholeheartedly. Donald Trump and Booker County’s JD Vance are the last chance to save our country,” said George Lang, a Republican state senator. “Politically, I’m afraid if we lose this one, it’s going to take a civil war to save the country and it will be saved. It’s the greatest experiment in the history of mankind."

Vendors outside the event removed merchandise referencing Biden and added coffee mugs, T-shirts and other items that featured Vance.

Vance’s second stop is in a part of western Virginia that is considered a part of the Appalachia region. The campaign's decision to send Vance there also signals their confidence in their chances. Virginia is a state that had been a swing state but has gone for Democrats in every presidential election since 2008.

In his speech at the Republican National Convention last week introducing himself to America, Vance spoke about “forgotten communities” where “jobs were sent overseas and children were sent to war.”

The 39-year-old Republican also leaned into his relative youth, contrasting Biden’s decades in government with the milestones in his own life. It’s not clear how Vance will shift his message toward Harris, whom many Democrats were lining up to support, or any other contender for the nomination.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who is seen as a potential Democratic vice presidential candidate, made a point of criticizing Vance for the way he has portrayed Kentucky and the region.

Vance was raised by his grandparents in Middletown, which is not in Appalachia, but spent a significant amount of time traveling to Kentucky with his grandparents to visit family. The senator has said he hopes to be buried in a small mountain cemetery there.

“He ain’t from here,” Beshear told The Associated Press.

The governor took issue with Vance's portrayals in his book of people in Kentucky and eastern Kentucky and suggestions that they were lazy or not motivated to work.

“You don’t get to just come in eastern Kentucky a couple of times in the summer and then maybe for weddings and a funeral and cast judgment on us. It’s offensive,” Beshear said.

Despite his presence on the primetime debate stage and his bestselling book, Vance is still working to introduce himself to voters.

A CNN poll conducted in late June found the majority of registered voters had never heard of Vance or had no opinion of him. Just 13% of registered voters said they had a favorable opinion of Vance and 20% had an unfavorable one, according to the poll.

After Vance was named as Trump’s running mate, a startling number of Republican delegates, who are typically party insiders and activists, said they didn’t know much about the senator.

In his hometown in Ohio, though, he was welcomed as a local star.

Zetta Davidson, 73, a longtime poll worker from Fairborn, Ohio, called it “a wonderful move” for Trump to pick Vance. “I think he’s honest, straightforward, and if it’s not right, he’ll rip it apart,” she said.

A 72-year-old retiree from Middletown, Randy Linville, called Vance an “excellent choice."

“No. 1, he’s young,” Linville said. "Mr. Trump is not that old, but he’s getting up there.”

Vance has served in the Senate for less than two years. He has morphed from being a harsh Trump critic, at one point likening him to Hitler, to becoming a staunch defender of the former president, hitting the campaign trail on his behalf and even joining him at his Manhattan criminal trial this summer.

Price reported from New York. Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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