Deadly Storms Hit the Midwest

Six killed as more than 77 tornadoes touch ground

News Outside Online

Supercell in the American plains     Photo: Minerva Studio/Thinkstock

A series of powerful supercell thunderstorms rolled across the Midwest on Sunday triggering an outbreak of tornadoes that demolished towns and killed at least seven people. According to AP News, six people died in Illinois, which suffered the brunt of the storm. The seventh death occured in southern Michigan.

By Sunday morning, forecasters at the National Weather Service had issued a rare PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch for Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This was the first PDS watch since May 31, when a series of tornadic storms ripped across central Oklahoma, spawning the now infamous El Reno twister.

Radar and storm chaser reports suggest that as many as 77 tornadoes touched down in the Midwest on Sunday, with a majority striking Illinois. Three people were killed, and at least 35 taken to the hospital, in the small town of Washington, Illinois. Three people were also killed in Massac County, reports The New York Times.

The severe storms led to at least 230 flight cancellations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, and power outages throughout the Midwest, according to The New York Times. The extent of the damage has yet to be determined as the storms subsided late Sunday evening. 

Grayson Schaffer's "When the Luck Ran Out in El Reno", in Outside's December issue, examines the powerful Oklahoma storm that killed noted stormchaser Tim Samaras and his team on May 31.

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