Midwest Storm Brings Wind, Rain, Heads East

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The powerful storm that has been hammering the midwestern U.S. unleashed more destruction Wednesday. It has already spawned tornados from Wisconsin to Tennessee.

The storm has caused everything from blizzards to hurricane-force winds. There have been at least 24 tornadoes -- slamming the nation's midsection.

"You didn't hear the tornado," said Justine Schroeder of Peotone, Ill. "You know how they say it sounds like a freight train? You heard a little whistle and there was an explosion of glass everywhere."

In Tennessee, one man prayed for protection over his house, which was spared.

"I walked to the back door and looked out and saw everything had been destroyed," said Leland Noffsinger, a tornado survivor.

Some meteorologists said this could be the second strongest storm to ever hit the middle part of the country -- with 80-mile-per-hour wind gusts, with even a few characteristics of a Category 3 hurricane. It even brought blizzard-like conditions to Colorado.

"I wish I'd gone through Albuquerque!" said Ron Anderson, a California driver.

One million square miles of land have been affected by the storm, which experts have dubbed "The Great Lakes Cyclone."

It grounded hundreds of flights at Chicago's O'Hare Airport and left hundreds of thousands of people without power across the region, in places like Chatanooga, Tenn.

"Let's face it. How many tornados have we had in Chattanooga in the past 15 or 20 years?" asked Dewayne Ponds, who witnessed the tornado. "It's just not been that many. I knew that it was going to be an intense storm. I'd heard about it on the news coming back from Kentucky. But I didn't realize that I was going to be anything like this here in Chattanooga."

Also, the storm is continuing to move throughout the day, unleashing blizzards around North Dakota and more gusting winds across the Midwest as it heads East, where it's expected to bring heavy thunderstorms up and down the coast.

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.