Several tornadoes ripped through parts of northern and central Illinois late Sunday morning to leave a trail of destruction that included leveled homes, overturned cars, several dozen injured and at least five fatalities.
Tornadoes were reported in Washington, Pekin, Peoria and other towns.
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Washington's tornado was among the most devastating of the day touching down in the town 150 southwest of Chicago around 11 a.m. and lasting about 10 minutes, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
As of around 2:30 p.m., 37 tornado victims were reportedly being treated in Peoria, though it wasn't immediately clear which towns the victims were from.
The Washington County coroner later confirmed an elderly man and his sister died Sunday afternoon in their farmhouse in the town of New Minden, Ill. as a result of the tornado.
“There’s quite a few people that are hurt. Their houses are gone,” Washington Alderman Tyler Gee told CBS Chicago.
(See photos, reactions and updates from the devastating Washington, Ill. tornado below.)
According to the Epoch Times, The National Weather Service reported an on-the-ground tornado near Washington was moving at 60 miles per hour shortly after 11 a.m.
Washington Mayor Gary Manier reportedly told people to "please pray" for the town in the wake of the damage.
Official says emergency crews racing to Washington, Ill., amid reports people trapped in buildings: http://t.co/bnyCRCQgD6 -SM
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 17, 2013
The Red Cross is reportedly setting up at the Peoria chapter to respond to the damage.
In Chicago, the severe weather temporarily halted the Bears-Ravens game at Soldier Field while residents in collar counties Tweeted photos of hail coming down. Meanwhile, several central and western Illinois towns including Beecher, Gifford and Pekin suffered similar damage to Washington:
— Eric Lopez (@cirezepol) November 17, 2013
— Marcus Leshock (@marcusleshock) November 17, 2013
— ChuckGoudieABC (@ChuckGoudieABC7) November 17, 2013