News

Recovery begins after dozens of Midwest tornadoes kill 8

Recovery begins after dozens of Midwest tornadoes kill 8

STORM SURVIVORS: woman walks through the debris from the destruction caused by a tornado that touched down in Washington, Illinois, Nov. 18. Photo: Reuters/Jim Young

By Mary Wisniewski

WASHINGTON, Illinois (Reuters) – Rescue workers in a small Illinois city raked by a powerful tornado were combing through the wreckage on Tuesday in the wake of a fast-moving storm system that left eight people dead in two U.S. states.

The storm system triggered multiple tornadoes on Sunday that tore through the Midwestern United States, killing at least six people in Illinois and two people in Michigan.

“Today we are focusing on combing through the wreckage and seeing the damage,” said Patti Thompson, spokeswoman for Illinois emergency management agency. “We are also looking forward to the debris removal, working with communities trying to get the cleanup started.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Monday declared state disaster areas across seven counties, saying hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people were without power and numerous roads throughout the state have been closed by fallen trees and downed power lines.

PHOTOS: Midwest tornadoes

Quinn on Tuesday declared six additional counties as state disaster areas.

The storm also damaged homes and buildings in Indiana and Kentucky, though no fatalities were reported in those states.

Of the six people killed in Illinois, authorities said one died in Washington, a city of 15,000 people roughly 145 miles southwest of Chicago, where as many as 500 homes had been damaged in the winds of 166 to 200 miles per hour (267-322 km per hour).

Attention turned on Tuesday to assessing the damage wrought by the twister.

“When you’re fortunate, you do all you can,” said 52-year-old Cay Ernst, who was helping a friend whose house had been badly damaged look for a prized ring on Monday afternoon.

In the destroyed area, where buildings were reduced to rubble and cars turned upside down, authorities barred vehicle traffic out of concern that people could be injured while attempting to retrieve their possessions.

In central Michigan, rescue workers found the body of a 59-year-old man entangled in downed power lines on Sunday night. A 21-year-old man was killed that night when a tree fell on his car in the central Michigan town of Leslie.

Over 675,000 homes and businesses in the U.S. Midwest and in the province of Ontario, Canada, were without power on Monday afternoon, according to local power companies.

Recent Headlines

in National, Sports

Los Angeles wants to host 2024 Summer Olympics

20-overlay1

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to pursue a bid to bring the Summer Games to town in 2024 and become the only city besides London ever to host the Olympics three times.

in Entertainment

Nicholas Hoult to take on J.D. Salinger in new biopic

nicholashoult

The British actor will portray the beloved American author in "Rebel in the Rye."

in Entertainment

‘Spectre’ could be Daniel Craig’s last ‘Bond’ movie

danielcraig

The British star, whose turn in "Spectre" marks his fourth time playing 007, has now admitted he has no current plans to appear in another Bond movie

in National

Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony among frontrunners for new $10 bill

God Money

Officials plan to make a decision by this fall with the total redesign completed by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

in Sports

Top seeds in a hurry on day of U.S. Open upsets

serena

World number ones Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic launched their U.S. Open title bids in ruthless style.