ENVIRONMENT
02/28/2017 11:09 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2017

Deadly Tornadoes Rip Through Midwest

At least one person was killed.

UPDATE: 12:51 a.m. March. 1 ― Missouri State Patrol confirmed to CNN that one man was killed while driving south of Perryville, Missouri, when a passing tornado blew dozens of vehicles from a junkyard onto the Interstate. That brings the total number of people killed during the midwest tornadoes to two. 

The National Weather Service reported 20 tornadoes moved through Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Iowa, according to CNN.

Previously:

At least one confirmed tornado tore through the Midwest on Tuesday, killing one person and damaging buildings, according to local reports.

The National Weather Service reported one fatality from a “large and powerful tornado” that hit the city of Ottawa, southwest of Chicago in north-central Illinois, at 4:45 p.m., according to NBC Chicago. The storm damaged buildings in the area, including a nursing home in LaSalle County.

Amy Seely, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told The Huffington Post late Tuesday night that they were still issuing tornado warnings for Ottawa, “which has been hit with many storms.”

The LaSalle County Nursing Home wrote in a Facebook post that it had been hit by a tornado, but said staff and patients were accounted for.

Local storm watchers shared on Twitter images of the damage at the LaSalle nursing home, where several patients reported bumps and bruises, according to Fox6Now. Patients were evacuated to a nearby school. No one at the nursing home suffered serious injuries.

Emergency crews also were sent to the nearby village of Naplate, where several structures were reportedly damaged, to look for people possibly trapped under debris, according to The Associated Press.

Several tornadoes were reported from Little Rock to Chicago in Illinois, ABC News reported. The entire Chicago area remained under tornado watch until 10 p.m. local time.

Seely told HuffPost that the National Weather Service would not have a full count of tornadoes until Wednesday because “many people probably saw the same tornado.”

Officials in Oregon, Illinois, also reported damage to buildings and homes, and uprooted trees. Investigators will assess damage to determine whether a tornado touched ground in Oregon as well.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the state emergency operations center in Springfield on Tuesday night “to make sure we can quickly send in equipment and people to help local emergency responders,” he announced on Facebook.

The National Weather Service issued tornado watches for parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma until 4 a.m. CST. One tornado watch was issued for central and southern Indiana until 5 a.m. CST.

This report was updated with quotes from National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seely.

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