'Everything Demolished:' Twisters Devastate Midwest

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The search for people who may still be trapped in the rubble from Sunday's Midwest tornadoes continued in Illinois, Monday, but officials said they don't expect the death toll will climb past eight.

At least 81 reported tornadoes touched down in five states Sunday and carved paths of destruction. The twisters killed at least six people and leveled entire neighborhoods.

Illinois took the brunt of the fast-moving system.

"It was gone within 3 or 4 minutes, and you can see what it's done here. Everything demolished. Everything," Illinois resident Sam Murphy said.

The string of tornadoes leveled homes, shredded trees and downed power lines. One man stood at his window reciting the Lord's Prayer as a twister barreled towards him.

Meanwhile, a Washington, Ill., family said they're lucky to be alive. Ben Debois and his wife went to pick up their kids from his parents' home.

They were gone only 15 minutes, but when they returned their house was flattened.

"If I was inside this building during the storm, I would have been done," Dubois said. 

The severe weather sent 60,000 football fans at Chicago's Soldier Field rushing for cover during Sunday's game. And further south in Illinois, an EF-4 tornado created the most terrifying moments of resident Lisa Hunter and her kids' lives.

"We just covered up with a mattress, and (my sister) was holding me tight, I was holding her tight," young Brevin Hunter said,

Their town, Washington, Ill., was among the hardest hit. The mayor said anywhere from 250 to 500 homes were damaged or destroyed.

The severity of the devastation is just starting to sink in. Fierce winds tore apart whole neighborhoods and turned them into scrap piles.

Six people were killed in Illinois and about 200 were injured, including about 120 in Washington.

The National Weather Service said the EF-4 tornado that ripped through the community had winds of 170-190 miles an hour.

"This is what my house looks like after a tornado came through," one victim said. "This is my house, folks."

"We need all the help we can get in this town," another Washington, Ill., resident said.

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

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.