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3-year-old killed, mother injured when tree falls on home near Detroit amid severe weather, tornado

Cleanup efforts underway after tornado hits Livonia
Cleanup efforts underway after tornado hits Livonia 01:51

LIVONIA, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — A 3-year-old boy was killed and his mother critically injured, officials said, when a tree fell on a home in the suburban Detroit city of Livonia Wednesday afternoon amid severe weather that also spawned a tornado. 

The Livonia Fire Department confirmed the child's death. Livonia Fire Chief Robert Jennison said the tree landed on a bed where the child and his mother were sleeping. The mother was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.

Jennison said a 2-month-old was also in the home at the time, but is expected to be OK.

Tracking tornado damage in Livonia 01:25

"I've been here 35 years. I've never seen a storm come through like this. It's devastating, it's horrible to see," Livonia resident Melanie Ricketts said. 

In a statement, the city of Livonia said it was extending "its heartfelt sympathies to the family after the death of their 2-year son, who was killed after a tree fell on the family house when a quick-developing tornado struck several Livonia neighborhoods at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday."

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Livonia, estimating the wind peaked at 95 mph. A survey from the weather service shows the tornado started at about 3:30 p.m. and lasted for nine minutes, traveling 5.5 miles.

It started east of the intersection of Schoolcraft and Eckles roads, traveled north of Interstate 96 and lifted southwest of Seven Mile and Middlebelt roads. 

'"I have never experienced anything like that in my life," said Jason Durham. 

Durham said he left his home to go to the grocery store and then minutes later the sky got black and his kids called him scared and feeling like they were in danger. 

"As soon as the storm hit, we tried to turn around and come back home and literally every street had trees knocked down," Durham said. 

Tree falls on house in Livonia, Michigan following severe weather 01:20

Brian Kahn, director of the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness department, told CBS News in a statement that several homes were damaged and several trees uprooted by the storm. 

"Yes, it was determined an EF1 tornado spawned out of a line of storms that were passing through southeast Michigan," Kahn said. 

Additionally, Livonia Parks and Recreation says the Rotary Park was temporarily closed after the storm knocked down several trees and the roof of the park's main shelter.  

"As we assess the damage from the storm today, Livonia residents are asked to notify the City if there are downed trees that are blocking streets and roadways. These can be reported at or by calling the non-emergency line of the Livonia Police Department at (734) 466-2470," Livonia Fire and Rescue said in a social media post.  

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement on X (formerly Twitter):

My team has been in touch with the Livonia mayor following today's severe weather. It's tragic to hear about the death of a young Michigander. For those affected by the storm, emergency response teams are on the ground and the utilities will be working to get power restored.  

The weather service warned of severe thunderstorms in Wayne Oakland, Macomb and St. Clair counties through 5:15 p.m., with wind gusts up to 50 mph, also causing storm damage in other parts of the metro area.

In Farmington Hills, police and fire say they responded to a collapsed canopy at the Citgo gas station at 10 Mile and Middlebelt roads, which fell on two vehicles and a motorcycle. Police Chief Jeff King says a minor fire from fuel in a damaged pump was also reported. 

One person was hurt and taken to the hospital for minor injuries. 

Police say a worker was able to cut off the fuel to other pumps. Nearby businesses are open.

Metro Detroit gas station collapses following severe weather 01:28
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