Illinois, Indiana tornadoes leave trail of devastation, death
(AP) - An unusually large and strong late-season storm system ripped through several Midwest states Sunday, spawning tornadoes and tearing through homes and overturning cars along its path. Here's a snapshot of what is happening, state by state:
Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes flattened neighborhoods, ripped off roofs and toppled trees across the state. At least six people were killed, including an elderly man and his sister who died when a tornado struck their farmhouse in rural New Minden in southern Illinois, officials said.
One of the worst-hit areas was Washington, a town of 16,000 about 140 miles west of Chicago, where a tornado razed houses and sent cars flying. The National Weather Service says the tornado had a preliminary rating of EF-4, meaning it packed wind speeds of 170 to 190 mph. Washington Mayor Gary Manier estimated 250 to 500 homes had been damaged or destroyed. One person died in Washington, while three others were killed in Massac County in the far southern part of the state.
Gov. Pat Quinn declared a disaster in seven counties.
As high winds slammed into the Chicago area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and ordered the Bears and Ravens off the field. Fans were allowed back to their seats shortly after 2 p.m., and the football game resumed after about a two-hour delay.
High winds and rain slammed into the western part of the state, downing trees and power lines and leaving more than 530,000 homes and businesses without power. The Red Cross opened four shelters Monday to help those without power.
Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand said a 21-year-old man form Leslie died when a tree crushed his car Sunday night. The Shiawassee County Sheriff's Department said a 59-year-old Perry man was found dead and entangled in high-voltage power wires in Perry after going outside late Sunday to investigate a noise.
Churches in western Michigan canceled evening worship services, and some schools in the southeast canceled classes, including more than 100 in the Detroit area.
High winds forced officials to close the Mackinac Bridge - a 5-mile span connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas - to semi-trucks and trailers.
Severe thunderstorms packing at least four tornadoes caused injuries and widespread damage.
Gov. Mike Pence was touring some of the worst-hit areas Monday, while tens of thousands of homes remained without power.
On Sunday night, an Amtrak train collided with a tree that had fallen onto lines near Michigan City, causing a 90-minute delay to the Chicago to Grand Rapids, Mich., service. The same train was halted again early Monday due to a downed tree near Holland, Mich.
Kokomo police say nearly three dozen people were injured when a tornado swept through Sunday.
Heavy winds from storms rolling through Ohio caused damage to buildings and left tens of thousands without power.
Wood County Director of Emergency Management Brad Gilbert said two people suffered minor injuries when their house was damaged in Jerry City, about 10 miles southeast of Bowling Green.
Winds toppled one of two screens at a drive-in movie theater in the Toledo suburb of Oregon.
Strong winds knocked out power to thousands in the Milwaukee area, damaged buildings and downed trees in Dodge County, and sent Sunday churchgoers scrambling into church basements for safety.
In the town of Hustisford, cattle sheds, garages and storage sheds were damaged, said Dodge County Emergency Management Director Joseph Meagher. No injuries were immediately reported, he said.
Tornadoes were spotted in at least eight Kentucky counties and at least one home had its roof blown off, a spokesman for the Kentucky Emergency Management said.
Buddy Rogers said it was unclear how many tornadoes actually touched down. He said a home in Rochester in Butler County had its roof blown off, and there were reports of damages to homes and other structures, but no reports of injuries.
Severe storms slammed the eastern part of Missouri, leaving tens of thousands without power and destroying a mobile home.
The National Weather Service said the storm tore shingles off roofs and uprooted trees across parts of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Ameren Missouri reported more than 37,000 outages Sunday afternoon, mostly in the St. Louis area.