Communities in Midwest pick up pieces after deadly storms - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Communities in Midwest pick up pieces after deadly storms

Gifford, IL, was among the communities ravaged by Sunday's storms. (Source: WCIA/CNN) Gifford, IL, was among the communities ravaged by Sunday's storms. (Source: WCIA/CNN)
A house in Washington, IL, was destroyed by a tornado Sunday. (Source: Jim Ardis/CNN) A house in Washington, IL, was destroyed by a tornado Sunday. (Source: Jim Ardis/CNN)
An area of Washington, IL, was wiped out by a tornado. (Source: Jim Ardis/CNN) An area of Washington, IL, was wiped out by a tornado. (Source: Jim Ardis/CNN)

(RNN) - Communities were reeling in the wake of Sunday's deadly storms that brought death and destruction in Illinois and widespread damage and power outages across the upper Midwest.

At least six died as a result of a severe weather system that brought tornadoes to eight states. The National Weather Service stated there were 81 preliminary reports of tornadoes Sunday.

Three deaths have been confirmed in Massac County in extreme southern Illinois, across the Ohio River from Paducah, KY, KFVS reported Sunday.

Jonathon Monken, the director of the Illinois EMA, said Sunday that 37 more were injured, several critically.

AP reported that two of the dead were an elderly man and his sister, whose farmhouse in Minden, IL, was hit by a powerful EF-4 tornado, with winds of 166 to 200 mph.

"I don't know if they made it to the basement or not," an emotional Minden Mayor Candi Cross said of the two who died.

Seventy homes in Washington, IL, have been destroyed, hundreds more have been damaged and rescue operations are underway, Monken said. One person died in this town of 10,000, which is located near Peoria in central Illinois.

"It was complete destruction," said Washington, IL, resident Anthony Khoury, an iReporter for CNN. "There are people in the streets crying."

Jim Ardis, the mayor of nearby Peoria, said the tornado hit a "densely populated" area in Washington, and his city is helping recovery efforts.

Pekin, IL, about 30 miles from Washington, IL, took a less severe hit, with roofs blown off houses and downed power lines and trees.

Search and rescue efforts remain active, according to police during a press conference in Brookport, IL. That city is also under a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew to keep people off of roadways so that they won't encounter the widespread storm debris.

Three tornadoes were thought to have touched down in Gifford, IL, Sunday, according to CNN. The village has suffered major damage.

Destruction and power outages were also reported in southeastern Missouri. Homes were wrecked in Scott County, MO, according to KFVS.

Widespread power outages were reported throughout the region, including 390,000 in Michigan, according to CNN.

Paducah, KY, suffered damage to houses and a church, but no injuries were reported Sunday night. The Associated Press reported that a possible tornado touched down at a uranium plant there, but plant officials said no hazardous materials were released.

A mall, a fire station, a car dealership, a bank and multiple homes in Kokomo, IN, were damaged by an apparent tornado, said Larry Smith, an Indiana EMA official. The mall was evacuated before the storm hit, and only minor injuries were reported, he said. The city declared a state of emergency following the tornado hits.

Cars were flipped in Indianapolis, which saw wind gusts of up to 80 mph.

WFIE in Evansville, IN, reported heavy damage in Union County, KY.

Severe weather damaged a shopping plaza in Newport, KY, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, WXIX reported.

The weather is believed to have caused a building to collapse in Cleveland, according to WOIO.

Several other cities in Ohio suffered damage from the severe storms, WTOL in Toledo reported, including Perrysburg Township, Oregon and the village of Cloverdale, where a Catholic church received heavy damage.

Twenty-six states began Sunday under National Weather Service warnings for severe weather. The National Weather Service called the weather system "particularly dangerous," which is the highest tier of warning it issues. More than 19 million people lived in the area under the greatest threat.

Severe weather in the Chicago area forced officials to postpone the Bears-Ravens game for two hours while fans took shelter in the stadium concourses. The game resumed after storms cleared the area.

Such extreme weather is unusual for autumn, but the temperatures were unseasonably warm in the area, the NWS said.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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