NAPLATE, Ill. (CBSNewYork/CBS Chicago/AP) — Severe weather and tornadoes that ripped across the Midwest Tuesday are responsible for at least one death, authorities say.
Tornadoes touched down in the upper Midwest and northern Arkansas on Tuesday, killing at least one person, as a spring-like storm system posed a risk to 45 million people.
The conditions “caused a lot of structural damage,” Naplate, Illinois fire chief John Nevins told CBS Chicago. “A lot of power lines are down. Power poles are down. Trees down.”
Naplate Mayor Jim Rick saw the tornado pass through town as debris scattered through the air. In total, about 50 homes were destroyed in the town.
Hail fell so quickly that motorists had to pull over and stop in Missouri.
Compact but strong storms known as supercells raked parts of the central U.S., causing damage from Arkansas to Iowa and Illinois. Wind-whipped wildfires destroyed homes in Texas.
At Ottawa, Illinois, state Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson says the tornado victim was killed by an uprooted tree. Minor injuries were also reported at an Ottawa nursing home, but Thompson said the number of those hurt in the twisters was not known.
Forecasters were particularly concerned that the worst of the weather developed after nightfall — and worried it would continue overnight and hit communities while people slept.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)