A powerful and wide-reaching line of severe storms barreled east on Wednesday threatening new damage, after spinning off as many as 24 tornadoes across the central U.S., killing at least three people.
Tornado reports emerged up and down the state of Illinois on Tuesday. Compact but strong storms known as supercells triggered widespread damage from Arkansas to Ohio, as wind-whipped wildfires destroyed homes in Texas.
Parts of the southeast could be in the crosshairs next. Tornado watches were in effect for parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, lasting much of Wednesday morning.
In Ottawa, Illinois, state Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said a tornado victim was killed by an uprooted tree. In nearby Naplate, storms ripped homes into pieces.
About 225 miles south, near Crossville, an apparent tornado struck a building near a house, killing a 71-year-old man and injuring his wife, White County Coroner Chris Marsh said.
Another person was killed when a tornado ripped through Perry County, Missouri, about 80 miles south of St. Louis. Eight to 10 homes near the small town of Perryville were badly damaged and winds were so strong that several vehicles were blown off of Interstate 55. Perry County Clerk Jared Kutz said search and rescue crews were going door-to-door and checking the highway to see if there were other victims.
Minor injuries were also reported at an Ottawa nursing home. Thompson said it wasn't clear how many people were hurt by the storm, but that it was relatively few.
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