An overnight storm that whipped up a violent wind that left a path of destruction across the Midwest has left thousands without power and has delivered at least four fatalities.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency confirmed the death of a 71-year-old man as the result of the tornado in Peoria County, Illinois.
Also reported dead was an 11-year-old boy, identified as Sammi Wiles, of Valley Head, Kansas, who died Wednesday night when a tornado cut a path of destruction through that community.
Also, in Rockford, Illinois, authorities confirmed a fatality Wednesday night of a person who was struck by lightning, after the storm hit the area. The man is in serious condition.
The storm even hit the Minnesota Twins stadium, Target Field, as utility worker Joey Jenkins told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that some of his company’s lines were destroyed.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, 3,800 MidAmerican Energy customers were without power due to the storm. The hardest hit areas included Peoria, Geneva, Metamora, Jonesboro, Champaign, Cedarburg, Fremont, Davenport, Roseville, Hammond, Cedar Rapids, Rock Island, Rochester, and Hazel Green.
“We have nearly 1,200 crews working to restore power across Illinois,” said Mark Richardson, senior vice president of distribution for MidAmerican Energy. “The storms have created an extremely high demand for electricity as well as downed trees and utility poles causing power outages for customers.”
Douglas Power reports 19,100 customers remain without power across Illinois.
The tornadoes were among nearly a dozen tornadoes that were reported Tuesday in central Missouri, southwestern Iowa, southeastern Nebraska, and the western half of Kansas.
A tornado in Missouri, which took the lives of two children, was the fourth so far this year.
The weather has caused at least $120 million in property damage across Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, and northern Arkansas and killed one person in Missouri.
The storms also caused flooding throughout central and southern states, leaving several hundred thousand customers without power in several states.