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Aftermath Photos Show Widespread Destruction After Tornado Tears Through Northern Illinois

04/10/2015 01:59 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

At least two people are dead and nearly a dozen others injured after a tornado touched down in northern Illinois on Thursday evening. Dozens of homes were damaged, at least one school remains closed and two animals were killed at a local zoo.

The Red Cross has opened shelters near the town of Rochelle and the communities of Fairdale, Kirkland and Ashton, which were among the hardest hit by the storm. Rescue crews are now sifting through the damage as local residents begin to rebuild their homes. If you'd like to help the communities, several GoFundMe pages have been set up and other organizations are accepting donations to aid recovery efforts. Officials are encouraging volunteers to stay away from the damage at this time, Kirkland Community Fire District Chief Chad Connell told the Chicago Tribune.

"Although they mean well, we would like for them to stay off-site," he said. "Do not come out here to help us. We have a plan here set in place that we need to stick to."

Take a look at some of the sobering aftermath photos below.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    This Friday, April 10, 2015 aerial image made from video provided by ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV) over Fairdale, Ill., shows damage after a tornado blew through the area Thursday evening. The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes churned through six north-central Illinois counties.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Wreckage on IL-64 after a tornado came through the previous night, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Candy Trudell finds a guitar in the wreckage of her home on IL-64 after a tornado swept through the previous night, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    Members of the Kirkland Fire Department search a home that was destroyed after a tornado ripped through the north central Illinois area the night before Friday, April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Ill.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Debris lay in a field off of IL-64 after a tornado came through the previous night, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Candy Trudell looks through the wreckage of her home on IL-64 after a tornado swept through the previous night, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Michael West surveys the damage of his mother's home on IL-64 after a tornado swept through the night before, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    A semi was knocked on its side while parked behind the restaurant Grubstakers on IL-64 after a tornado came through the previous night, on April 10, 2015 in Rochelle, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Houses and property in ruin the morning after a tornado swept through the town the previous day on April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Crews search through the town for unaccounted people the morning after a tornado swept through the town on April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Illinois.
  • Jon Durr via Getty Images
    Houses and property in ruin the morning after a tornado swept through the town the previous day on April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Illinois.
  • Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    A member of the Kirkland Fire Department finishes searching a home that was destroyed after a tornado ripped through the north central Illinois area the night before Friday, April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Ill.
  • Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    Trees are stripped and uprooted on a street in Fairdale, Ill., at dawn Friday, April 10, 2015, after a tornado destroyed much of the town the previous night.
  • Chicago Tribune via Getty Images
    A Fairdale sign is torn from the ground after a tornado ripped through the north central Illinois area the night before Friday, April 10, 2015 in Fairdale, Ill.

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