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Powerful storms hit Midwest

Storms produced high winds and spawned tornadoes across the Midwest.

BY HEATHER MOYER | ROANOKE, Ill. | July 14, 2004

Powerful storms produced high winds and spawned several tornadoes across the Midwest Tuesday evening. The tornadoes destroyed several homes and severely damaged many others.

In central Illinois' Woodford County, a twister roared through Roanoke, leveling three homes. Two other homes suffered major damages, and one suffered minor damages. The area hit was very rural, according to Illinois State Trooper Brian Copple. A local manufacturing business was also totaled by the tornado.

"We have many state agencies on site right now assessing damages, fortunately there were no reported injuries," said Copple, public information officer for the disaster. "The Red Cross is assisting the affected families at this time."

Copple reported to the damage sites right after the storm went through. He said the damage was amazing. "I can imagine the residents are all pretty shell-shocked right now," he said.

High winds also damaged numerous crops. Other towns affected by the powerful storms across Woodford County include Eureka, Minonk and Secor.

Six possible tornadoes were reported in the county Tuesday afternoon, and weather officials will determine Wednesday which storms will actually qualify as tornadoes.

Woodford County's tornadoes spawned from a series of several powerful storm cells that moved across Illinois yesterday afternoon. The storms produced high winds that toppled several semi-trucks along interstates, downed trees, and left thousands without power.

East central Wisconsin also suffered from severe weather Tuesday afternoon and evening. In Manitowoc County, the town of Clark Mills was struck by an apparent tornado.

Heavy damage was done to a dairy farm, where a barn's roof was torn off. Authorities said one home was left uninhabitable, and 12 to 15 others were damaged in the rural area some 15 miles west of the city of Manitowoc.

Meanwhile, the same storm system that ravaged Illinois later moved into Indiana and Kentucky overnight, where strong winds knocked out power to thousands across the states. Scattered roof damage was reported, as well as numerous downed trees, but no one was injured. Parts of Tennessee also suffered similar damages and power loss.

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