Tornado Outbreak in Midwest Kills 7

Over the weekend powerful storms  in a path of destruction  through Northwest Ohio. From AP:

A tornado unleashed a “war zone” of destruction in northwest Ohio, destroying dozens of homes and an emergency services building as a line of storms killed at least seven people and threatened to do more damage Sunday as it hit the Northeast.

But most of the worst was reserved for a 100-yard-wide, 7-mile-long strip southeast of Toledo now littered with wrecked vehicles, splintered wood and family possessions.The tornado ripped the roof and back wall off Lake High School’s gymnasium about 11 p.m. Saturday, several hours before the graduation ceremony was supposed to begin there. The school board president said one of the victims was the father of the class valedictorian.

The hardest hit area in Ohio is in Millbury and Lake Township:

Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer flew over the damaged area and said at least 50 homes were destroyed and another 50 severely damaged, as well as six commercial buildings. The storm fell over an area of farm fields and light industry, narrowly missing the heavily populated suburbs on the southern edge of Toledo.

“It’s a war zone,” Hummer said. “It’s pretty disheartening.”

Hummer said Sunday afternoon all buildings had been searched and everyone was accounted for. Rescuers were searching a wooded area and a field near the worst hit portion of town as a precaution.

The tornado turned a township police and emergency medical services building into a mishmash of 2-by-4 framing and pink insulation. Hummer was talking to a police dispatcher by phone when the storm hit.

“She started saying, ‘The building is shaking,’ and then another dispatcher came on and said, ‘The roof just blew off,” he said.

The storm hit Illinois and Michigan:

Storms collapsed a movie-theater roof in Illinois and ripped siding off a building at a Michigan nuclear plant, forcing a shutdown.

In southeastern Michigan, severe storms and high winds ripped siding off a building at the Fermi 2 nuclear plant, causing it to shut down automatically, said Dan Smith, the public information officer for Monroe County. Investigators were inspecting the nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Erie on Sunday morning, and the plant was expected to go back into operation, Smith said.

About 35,000 people were without power but it wasn’t clear whether that was directly related to the nuclear plant’s shutdown or because of damage to power lines in the area, Smith said.

Eleven people with minor injuries were taken to hospitals from Dundee, Mich., where a tornado touched down with winds of about 130 mph.

Tornadoes also were reported in Illinois. More than a dozen people were injured in Dwight, Ill., where about 40 mobile homes and 10 other homes were destroyed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said.

The roof of a movie theater collapsed in Elmwood, Ill., about 30 miles west of Peoria. State Trooper Dustin Pierce said 150 to 200 people had been inside, but they had been evacuated to the basement and no one was hurt.

The storms left a trail of damaged homes in northern Indiana and two tornadoes were reported, but no one was injured. In eastern Iowa, buildings were damaged and one person was hurt when a tornado touched down in Maquoketa.

AP via Yahoo News has the rest of the story.

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