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November 18, 2013

Tornadoes and severe weather slam the midwest

A powerful late-season wave of tornadoes, thunderstorms and damaging winds hit 12 states on Sunday. News organizations reported anywhere from dozens (The Washington Post) to over 81 (The Chicago Tribune) tornadoes that touched down in the midwest, killing at least eight people. Looking at these photographs, its hard to imagine that so many people walked away unharmed. Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 people east of Peoria was hit hardest by an EF-4 tornado with winds of up to 190 mph. --Thea Breite ( # 22 )

A tornado moves northeast two miles west of Flatville, Ill., on Nov. 17. The tornado damaged many farm buildings and homes on its way to Gifford, Ill., where scores of houses were devastated. (Jessie Starkey/Associated Press/News-Gazette)

Ray Baughman embraces family shortly after his home was destroyed by a tornado that left a path of devastation through the north end of Pekin, Il., on Nov. 17. Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities while sending people to their basements for shelter. (Fred Zwicky/Associated Press/Journal Star) #

Fire Station No. 6 in Kokomo was greatly damaged by the tornado on Nov. 17. (Kelly Lafferty/Associated Press/Kokomo Tribune) #

Residents embrace after they discovered their home was destroyed when a tornado and thunderstorms tore through a portion of Washington, Ill., on Nov.17. (Ron Johnson/Associated Press/Peoria Journal Star) #

Firefighters look over damage to trailers at Summit Village east of Marion, Ind., after storms blew through Marion and Grant County on Nov. 17. (Jeff Morehead/Associated Press/Chronicle-Tribune) #

East Peoria resident Billy Vestal evacuates with his daughter, Lillian Vestal, 3, after a tornado damaged the area near Chestnut Road in East Peoria, Il., on Nov. 17. (Justin Wan/Associated Press/Journal Star) #

A Washington firefighter peers into the home of a fellow firefighter whose home was destroyed when a tornado swept through Washington, Ill., on Nov. 17. (David Zalaznik/Associated Press/Journal Star) #

A resident of Washington, Ill., surveys the damage to her home and neighbors after a tornado and severe thunderstorms swept through a portion of the town on Oct. 17. (Ron Johnson/Associated Press/Peoria Journal Star) #

Demolished homes and vehicles in the Devonshire Subdivision in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 17. (Steve Smedley/Associated Press/The Pantagraph) #

A tree was pulled out of the ground by the roots, collapsing onto a house after a tornado left a path of devastation through the north end of Pekin, Il., on Nov. 17. (Fred Zwicky/Associated Press/Journal Star) #

The upper portion of a building sits in the middle of Home Avenue near the intersection at Hoffer St. on Nov. 17. (Kelly Lafferty/Associated Press/Kokomo Tribune) #

A mattress is wrapped around a stripped tree in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 17. Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities while sending people to their basements for shelter. (Steve Smedley/Associated Press/The Pantagraph) #

A neighborhood in the Devonshire subdivision of Washington, Ill., is left in ruins after a tornado tore through the northern part of the town on Nov. 17. (Ron Johnson/Associated Press/Peoria Journal Star) #

Pat Whitaker, 82, sits under a blanket in her nightgown outside her home waiting for help to come in Gifford, Ill. on Nov. 17. (Robin Scholz/Associated Press/News-Gazette) #

Eric Crawford, 28, waited for the storm to pass and a rainbow to appear before checking on his mail in rural Orchard Farm on Nov. 17, in St. Charles County. Corn husks were flying through the air in the high winds. (J.B. Forbes/Associated Press/St. Louis Post-Dispatch) #

Residents search through a neighborhood in Washington, Ill., after a tornado and strong thunderstorms swept through the north part of the town destroying several homes on Nov. 17. (Ron Johnson/Associated Press/Peoria Journal Star) #

Heavy damage to the roof of the HP building from a tornado is seen on Hoffer Street, on Nov. 17, in Kokomo, Ind. (Brent Drinkut/Associated Press/The Indianapolis Star) #

Debris is strewn in a tree Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18, after a tornado leveled hundreds of homes in the city the day before. (David Mercer/Associated Press) #

Damaged and litter-filled trees stand among the destruction caused by a tornado as a helicopter flies overhead in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18. Tornadoes ripped through six states in the US Midwest on Nov. 17 causing damage, power outages, injuries and death. Six people have reportedly been killed in Central Illinois and many more injured in the worst hit area. (Tannen Maury/EPA) #

Lindsay Dubois looks at her damaged home as she and her children (L-R) Keenan, Gavin, and Owen return to what is left of it after it was destroyed by a tornado in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18. (Tannen Maury/EPA) #

A boy picks through belongings in the destruction caused by a tornado that touched down in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18. A fast-moving storm system triggered multiple tornadoes on Nov. 16 that killed at least six people and flattened large parts of a town in Illinois as it tore across the Midwest, authorities said. (Jim Young/Reuters) #

A U.S. flag is seen among the debris and destruction caused by a tornado that touched down in Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18. Police were turning residents away from Washington, Ill., on Nov. 18, the day after a series of tornadoes pounded the Midwestern United States, killing six people across the state and flattening the city of 15,000 people. The storm, which killed one person in Washington, destroyed 250 to 500 houses in that city, said Mayor Gary Manier. He said authorities were keeping evacuated residents away from the area out of concern that the remaining structures were dangerously unstable. (Jim Young/Reuters) #



 
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