Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes sweep across the Midwest, causing fatalities, injuries, extensive damage in several central Illinois communities, and even prompting officials at Chicago's Soldier Field to evacuate the stands and delay the Bears game.
In central Illinois, the town of Washington appears particularly hard-hit, with one resident saying his neighborhood was wiped out in a matter of seconds by a tornado.
"I stepped outside and I heard it coming. My daughter was already in the basement, so I ran downstairs and grabbed her, crouched in the laundry room and all of a sudden I could see daylight up the stairway and my house was gone," Michael Perdun says in an interview with The Associated Press on his cellphone.
Here is a gallery of images from the areas hit by tornadoes.
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