WJTV News Channel 12 - Tornadoes tear through Midwest, killing 8 and leveling neighborh

Tornadoes tear through Midwest, killing 8 and leveling neighborhoods

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WASHINGTON, IL - Authorities say at least eight people were killed by Sunday's twisters that ripped through a dozen states in the Midwest.

From the sky, you can see the massive path of destruction a twister carved through Washington, Illinois.
    
Several driveways now lead to empty foundations where large suburban homes used to stand.
    
Joey Davidson was in the basement of his new home when it hit. Now he's in the hospital with a cracked vertebrae and shoulder damage.

"I could feel everything that was hitting me,” said Joey Davidson, tornado victim. “I knew it was cinder blocks and trusses and it was surreal and I thought at one point I was a goner."

The storms left hundreds in the Midwest homeless.
    
The National Weather Service surveyed the damage in hard-hit Washington, Illinois and says the tornado there was an EF-4, the second most powerful.

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At least six people are dead after a late-season storm system spawned dozens of tornadoes.

In Washington, Illinois a twister wiped out entire neighborhoods.

Firefighters in Washington searched through rubble looking for survivors of a massive tornado that leveled the town. Spray painted "x's" signify a car or home has been searched and is clear.

It was just one of an estimated 80 twisters reported in the Midwest Sunday. Most of them were in Illinois.

Hundreds of homes Washington were destroyed and officials instituted a dusk-to-dawn curfew because of gas leaks and downed power lines.

The same tornado that hit Washington also hit the town of Pekin, 18 miles away. Jeff Leeman says he barely escaped.

"My son said 'there it is!' In a matter of seconds we turned around and it was right on top of us. We hustled into the house and before we knew it, it was gone. It was that fast," said Jeff Leeman, Pekin resident.

The National Weather Service estimates a tornado with winds of 166 miles-per-hour hit the town of New Minden, Illinois. An elderly man and his sister died when the twister hit their farmhouse

Heavy rain, hail and high winds contributed to damage in at least seven states.

The Chicago Bears game was delayed for two hours while severe thunderstorms moved through the area.
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