Death toll from Midwest tornadoes reaches 8 - WNCN: News, Weather

Death toll from Midwest tornadoes reaches 8

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Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest on Sunday, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities.  (AP Photo/Alex Kareotes) Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest on Sunday, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities. (AP Photo/Alex Kareotes)
DETROIT -

Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region.

Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski says a 14-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a hospital after grabbing a downed power line Monday morning. He was walking home from a school that was closed due to power outages. Donakowski didn't provide the boy's name.

Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening.

A band of moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods. Officials say the storms also killed six people in Illinois.

Here's a snapshot of what is happening, state by state:

ILLINOIS

Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes flattened neighborhoods, ripped off roofs and sent trees toppling across the state. At least six people were killed, including, an elderly man and his sister who died when a tornado struck their farmhouse in rural New Minden in southern Illinois, officials said.

One of the worst-hit areas was the western Illinois town of Washington, where a tornado razed houses and sent cars flying through the air. The National Weather Service says the tornado had a preliminary rating of EF-4, meaning wind speeds of 170 mph to 190 mph.

Gov. Pat Quinn declared a disaster in seven counties.

As high winds slammed into the Chicago area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and order the Bears and Ravens off the field. Fans were allowed back to their seats shortly after 2 p.m., and the game resumed after about a two-hour delay.

MICHIGAN 

High winds and rain slammed into the western part of the state, downing trees and power lines and leaving about more than 500,000 homes and businesses without power.

Early Monday Detroit police reported that a 14-year-old boy died when he grabbed a downed power line. Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand said a 21-year-old driver in Leslie died when a fallen tree crushed his car.

Churches in western Michigan canceled evening worship services and some schools canceled classes in the southeast, including more than 100 in the Detroit area.

High winds forced officials to close the Mackinac Bridge - a 5-mile span connecting Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas - to semi-trucks and trailers.

INDIANA

Severe thunderstorms packing tornadoes and heavy winds rolled across Indiana, injuring several people and causing widespread damage.

Gov. Mike Pence said 12 counties reported either tornadoes or storm damage after the initial line of storms had traveled midway across Indiana. Tens of thousands of homes lost power. 

On Sunday night an Amtrak train collided with a tree that had fallen onto lines near Michigan City, causing a 90-minute delay to the Chicago to Grand Rapids, Mich., service. The same train was halted again early Monday due to a downed tree near Holland, Mich. No one was hurt, but passengers completed their journey by bus.

Kokomo police asked residents to stay home and off the streets after city officials declared a state of emergency. The city police department posted photos on its Twitter account showing buildings with roofs torn off and a destroyed bank branch.

OHIO

Heavy winds from storms rolling through Ohio caused damage to buildings and left tens of thousands without power. 

Wood County Director of Emergency Management Brad Gilbert says that two people suffered minor injuries when their house was damaged in Jerry City, about 10 miles southeast of Bowling Green.

Winds toppled one of two screens at a drive-in movie theater in the Toledo suburb of Oregon.

WISCONSIN

Strong winds knocked out power to thousands in the Milwaukee area, damaged buildings and downed trees in Dodge County and sent Sunday churchgoers scrambling into church basements for safety.

In the town of Hustisford, cattle sheds, garages and storage sheds were damaged, said Dodge County Emergency Management Director Joseph Meagher said. No injuries were immediately reported, he said. 

KENTUCKY

Tornadoes were spotted in at least eight Kentucky counties and at least one home had its roof blown off, a spokesman for the Kentucky Emergency Management said.

Buddy Rogers said it was unclear how many of those tornadoes actually touched down. He said a home in Rochester in Butler County had its roof blown off and there were reports of damages to homes and other structures in the various counties, but no reports of injuries.

MISSOURI

Severe storms slammed the eastern part of Missouri, leaving tens of thousands without power and destroying a mobile home. 

The National Weather Service said the storm tore shingles off of roofs and uprooted trees across parts of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Ameren Missouri reported more than 37,000 outages Sunday afternoon, mostly in the St. Louis area.

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