ENVIRONMENT

Tornadoes Leave 3 Dead, Trail Of Destruction In Midwest

Photos show extensive damage to areas in Illinois and Missouri.

At least three people have died after tornadoes barreled across the Midwest Tuesday night. Authorities cleaned up extensive damage in a number of cities Wednesday. 

More than 20 unconfirmed tornadoes were reported overnight and into early Wednesday morning in Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Indiana, according to the National Weather Service.

Debris marks the spots where Tuesday's tornado destroyed homes in the Perryville, Missouri, on Wednesday, March 1 2017, along
Debris marks the spots where Tuesday's tornado destroyed homes in the Perryville, Missouri, on Wednesday, March 1 2017, along Highway 61.

A tornado caused significant damage in Perryville, Missouri, Tuesday night, crossing an interstate north of the city and scattering cars from a nearby salvage yard across the freeway.

Travis Koenig, 24, was killed when his car was blown off the road and he was ejected from the vehicle, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Corp. Juston Wheetley. A passenger in the car survived. Several other people driving on the interstate sustained minor injuries.

Wheetley said they’ve dealt with tornadoes before, but “this one was a little bit more severe than we’ve seen in this area.”

A strike team searched 180 houses in the path of the tornado, and determined that 60 percent of them had moderate to major damage.

Damaged and destroyed homes lie in a small subdivision off Highway 61 in Perryville on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the morning
Damaged and destroyed homes lie in a small subdivision off Highway 61 in Perryville on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the morning after a tornado struck the area. One person was killed when the tornado struck Interstate 55.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter for storm victims, and local businesses offered to donate supplies including bottled water and generators.

Tornadoes also struck several locations in Illinois. In Ottawa, 76-year-old Wayne Tuntland died of “crushing injuries” after a tree fell on him, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

Six people were injured at a local nursing home damaged by a tornado. All the residents and staff members were safely evacuated, according to the facility.

Ryan Chamberlain, 11, right, and Jacob Vogel, 12, on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 pass by the house of Jerry Nanouski, which was
Ryan Chamberlain, 11, right, and Jacob Vogel, 12, on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 pass by the house of Jerry Nanouski, which was damaged in the tornado in Naplate, Ill.

Hail the size of baseballs was also spotted in the area.

Near Crossville, a village in southern Illinois, 71-year-old Thomas McCord was found dead in a field behind his home, and his wife was treated for injuries, according to ABC 7.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) said he was traveling to the affected areas Wednesday “thanking our first responders and helping our families recover from the storm damage.”

“My heart goes out to all of those impacted by the tornados in Illinois,” he wrote on Facebook. “Our thoughts are with all the victims, first responders and volunteers as recovery continues.”

Several people were injured in Arkansas when a tornado blew through an area north of Little Rock, and a number of houses were damaged.

Severe storms caused widespread power outages in Tennessee and downed trees and power lines.

The National Weather Service predicted severe thunderstorms for Wednesday in parts of the Southeast and on the East Coast. “The risk for tornadoes will exist particularly from parts of east-central Mississippi to portions of north Georgia and vicinity,” their alert states. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump is monitoring the storms and has the victims’ families in his prayers.

  • An SUV sits on a pile of wreckage off of route 51 after last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
    Jon Durr via Getty Images
    An SUV sits on a pile of wreckage off of route 51 after last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Debris marks the site of a home in a small subdivision off Highway 61 in Perryville, Missouri on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, th
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Getty Images
    Debris marks the site of a home in a small subdivision off Highway 61 in Perryville, Missouri on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the morning after a tornado struck the area. 
  • A shattered tree is wrapped in a scrap of sheet metal on route 51 it after last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryvil
    Jon Durr via Getty Images
    A shattered tree is wrapped in a scrap of sheet metal on route 51 it after last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Cars are scattered near a junkyard off Interstate 55 in Perryville, Missouri. 
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Getty Images
    Cars are scattered near a junkyard off Interstate 55 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Pat Harber of Perryville, Missouri, looks through the wreckage of her home after it was destroyed by last night's tornado, on
    Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Pat Harber of Perryville, Missouri, looks through the wreckage of her home after it was destroyed by last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Grant Huber, Susan Krauss, and Michelle Naeger look through wreckage downwind and across the street from Pat Huber's home on
    Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Grant Huber, Susan Krauss, and Michelle Naeger look through wreckage downwind and across the street from Pat Huber's home on route 51 after last night's tornado, on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Jason and Rachel Dutton sort through their belongings on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in a house destroyed by a tornado in Naplat
    Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    Jason and Rachel Dutton sort through their belongings on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in a house destroyed by a tornado in Naplate, Illinois. 
  • Mike Small, brother of resident Nancy Warner, surveys tornado damage to her house on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in Naplate, Ill
    Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    Mike Small, brother of resident Nancy Warner, surveys tornado damage to her house on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in Naplate, Illinois. 
  • Parts of grain silos from the Huber family farm are scattered throughout a field up to a half mile away after yesterday's tor
    Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Parts of grain silos from the Huber family farm are scattered throughout a field up to a half mile away after yesterday's tornado on March 1, 2017 in Perryville, Missouri. 
  • Resident Nancy Warner, center, gets a hug from Sherry Pagakis as she surveys tornado damage to her house on Wednesday, March
    Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    Resident Nancy Warner, center, gets a hug from Sherry Pagakis as she surveys tornado damage to her house on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 in Naplate, Illinois. 
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