A powerful storm system hurdled through the Midwest on Sunday, spawning dozens of tornadoes that killed at least six people, injured many others and left devastating damage in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Brookport, Illinois, near the Kentucky border, was particularly hard hit.  At least two people were confirmed to have died, and police with dogs were going door to door to search for trapped residents.  Due to the fact that roads entering the city were closed by debris and downed power lines, authorities have imposed a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew.

At least four other people were killed in Illinois, including an 80-year-old man and his 78-year-old sister who were killed near New Minden, Illinois and two other unidentified victims were confirmed dead in Washington, Illinois and in Unionville, Illinois.

By early evening, 37 people were being treated at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria, seven of them as trauma patients.  Numerous injuries were also reported in Massac County, and with communications difficult and many roads impassable, it remained unclear how many other people might be hurt.

In Tazewell County in central Illinois, emergency crews were responding to a tornado that flattened homes in several neighborhoods.  The cities with reported damage include Washington, Perkin and East Peoria, Illinois.  Images from Washington, Illinois showed an expansive trail of wood debris from homes torn apart as the twister laid waste to one neighborhood.

The East Peoria Mayor said about 100 homes was damaged in his city of more than 23,000 residents, with 25 to 50 destroyed and uninhabitable.  The Red Cross was working with the county to open up shelters in the area for families whose homes were damaged.

Altogether, The Weather Channel recorded 40 reports of tornadoes: 16 in Indiana, 14 in Illinois, eight in Kentucky and one each in Missouri and Ohio.  There were more than 250 reports of wind damage or high winds across eight states.

At least 83,000 customers were without electric power Sunday evening in Illinois, most of those in the Peoria area.  Rescue teams were deploying to multiple areas across the state, focusing on the hard-hit Washington and Gifford areas.  Damage extended across the region, with damage reported as far east as Kentucky.

In Chicago, the Baltimore Ravens-Chicago Bears NFL game was delayed due to the bad weather, and the seating area at Soldier Field was evacuated.  The game resumed at about 2:20 p.m. after a nearly two-hour delay.  Wind and hail along with downed trees created scattered power failures across a broad area from Chicago to Buffalo.

The highest threat area for tornadoes was eastern Illinois into Indiana, southern Michigan, western Kentucky and western Ohio, but dangerous winds were also a concern as the storms moved across the Appalachians as well as parts of the Northeast into early Monday.

The Weather Channel predicted that the storm would diminish as it moved east through Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, but high winds could reach as far as New York State on Monday morning.

I hope that most people affected are safe and have minimal damage to their property and I am saddened to hear of the destruction that occurred.  To my Uncle Duane and all my relatives that live in the region…I hope you are all safe and sound.

 

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