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Tornados rip through Illinois

Posted On Mon, November 18, 2013

At least six people were killed and more than 50 were injured in Illinois when tornados ripped across the Midwest on Nov. 17. According to NBC Chicago, there were two fatalities in Massac County, two in Washington County and another in Tazewell County. While a sixth fatality was confirmed, it is not yet clear where it occurred.

CNN spoke to a resident of Washington, Ill., Michelle Crumrine, who said she was out of town when the severe weather hit. She returned to find that her house was completely gone.

"A lot of people have a pile of rubble still, and I don't have anything," Crumrine told CNN, "... It's gone. I don't know where it went."

"Complete destruction"
Washington was the hardest hit buy the storm, as dozens of tornadoes, flash floods and hail tore into the town of 10,000 people. More than 70 homes were destroyed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken said, adding that rescuers are still trying to reach people who may be trapped in their basement.

"It was complete destruction," said Washington resident Anthony Khoury. "There are people in the streets crying."

Videos of the devastation show houses and cars smashed, while residents' yards and city streets are filled with scattered debris. Other cities and towns, including Peoria and Pekin, Ill., also sustained substantial damages from the storms.

"We saw trees down, houses with their roofs completely torn off," Pekin resident Jack Lance said. "I saw a lot of people in distress with their homes destroyed. It wasn't a pretty sight."

According to NBC Chicago, St. Francis Medical Center near Washington currently has at least 50 patients - eight of whom are trauma cases - that are all tornado-related.

The severe weather also caused at least 10,000 pounds of propane to leak in Coal City, where an EF-2 tornado touched down, damaging fire districts. Local authorities requested a disaster alarm to bring in additional fire resources, the source reported. The city also saw both severely damaged residential and commercial building, some of which collapsed.

One such building, located in Harvey, had its entire roof torn off and destroyed. Residents of the building were sent to local shelters for protection.

While many residents may have the damage covered in their insurance rates, several organizations have already gotten started assisting the victims of the storms. Local charities set up food and drink stands for workers who are cleaning up after the tornado, and the Red Cross of Central Illinois is continuing to set up shelters to help those without homes.

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