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Storms rake Midwest


Severe storms raked the Midwestern US last Wednesday, leveling homes, killing three, and injuring numerous others.

Emergency management officials believe Michigan and Indiana may have seen the worst of the storm system. Church World Service has deployed trained volunteers to assess damages and help support an interfaith response.

Several confirmed tornadoes touched down across Michigan, killing one man and leveling numerous homes.

Michigan's State Emergency Management Division reported damages in more than thirteen counties with Kalamazoo County being hardest hit. As many as 200,000 people experienced power outages and 50,000 were still without power Friday.

The storm system also caused minor flooding in the region. Damage assessments are still being tallied. In Indiana, one woman was killed when a tornado picked up her mobile home. Northern Indiana was hit hard by the storm system that stretched from northern Michigan down to the lower Mississippi Valley. The Indiana Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) reported that three homes were destroyed along with several businesses.

One business' building completely collapsed injuring 21 workers inside. "Teams are still out assessing damages," said Pam Bright of IEMA. "We are saddened by the death, but fortunately the damage isn't turning out to be as bad as we thought it would be."

In Tennessee a three-year-old girl died after heavy winds caused a tree to fall into her family's apartment. Her mother was also injured by the collapse.

State meteorologists only confirmed one weak tornado in the state, but winds reaching up to 50 miles per hour were rampant Wednesday evening, uprooting trees and damaging homes.

"There wasn't a lot of damage," said Kurt Pickering of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. "We have some buildings with roof damage, and a large radio tower was knocked down, but it's not very extensive."

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