Tornadoes Ravage Midwest Leaving 13 Dead and Many Injured
A powerful storm system that spawned several tornadoes ripped through parts of the Midwest early Wednesday morning, leaving millions of dollars of damage and at least 13 people dead in its wake. Early damage photos are showing that the devastation ranges from mild to severe.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency said a twister that struck the town of Harrisburg around 5 a.m. is responsible for 10 deaths, and three people in Missouri also lost their lives as a result of the storms. In addition, there were three critical injuries in the small eastern Kansas town of Harveyville.
The Missouri tourist hub of Branson also took a hit -- 32 people were treated at one hospital for injuries, and many of the city's famous theaters and attractions sustained heavy damage. Still, many expressed relief the storm struck when it did instead of next week when the tourist season begins in full-swing.
The US Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK says that from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, at least 16 tornado sightings were reported from Nebraska and Kansas across southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky. The National Weather Service forecasts more tornadoes on Wednesday, including "one or two possibly strong" ones as well as "damaging wind over parts of the Tennessee Valley to southern Appalachians" into the evening.