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Death toll from Midwest tornadoes reaches 8

Officials in Illinois don

MGN Online

WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Officials in Illinois don't believe the death toll from yesterday's violent weather will go any higher.

Six people died in Illinois, and two more weather-related deaths are confirmed in Michigan.

Dozens of tornadoes and intense thunderstorms swept across the Midwest in a swift-moving line of storms that flattened entire neighborhoods.

The mayor of the Illinois town of Washington says hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed by a tornado. The National Weather Service says it was an EF-4 tornado, with winds of 170-190 miles an hour.

One man says his weather radio may have saved his life -- because the tornado struck his home while he was in the basement retrieving the radio. Today, he was at a supply store, picking up plywood to board up his blown-out windows.

Authorities have been keeping everyone but residents and emergency workers out of the affected neighborhoods. An overnight curfew kept all but emergency vehicles off the pitch-black roads.

Governor Pat Quinn visited some of the heavily-damaged areas today, and promised all of the assistance the state can provide to victims of what he said were the deadliest November tornadoes in the state's history.

Two deaths in Michigan are also blamed on the violent weather.

The Shiawassee County sheriff's department says 59-year-old Philip Daniel Smith of Perry in central Michigan was found dead and entangled in high-voltage power wires after going outside late Sunday to investigate a noise.

Also in central Michigan, Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening.


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