(CBS NEWS) - At least three people are dead and dozens of homes and businesses damaged after a violent storm system spawned tornadoes in the Midwest. Some of the hardest hit areas are outside Chicago and in southern Missouri.
According to the National Weather Service, six to 10 storms produced approximately 25 reports of tornadoes in the region.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the state emergency operations center last night to get state agencies in place to start helping people out affected by the storms.
Multiple tornados were spotted across Illinois, as they carved a path through the state early Tuesday evening. In Ottawa, powerful winds ripped giant trees from the ground, knocking out power in the area. One came down smashing a truck.
“It was scary, it did sound like a freight train like they always say, and it was fast and stuff was blowing around,” one witness said.
At least one person was killed in Ottawa by a fallen tree. Local police say the damage is extensive.
“Portions of houses have been destroyed... a lot of power lines down and numerous gas leaks,” said Dave Gualandri, captain of investigations at Ottawa police department.
A few miles away, a tornado shredded the La Salle County nursing home. There were reports of some minor injuries.
In Ava, near the southern tip of Illinois, lightning revealed the size of a massive twister.
Right across the river in Perryville, Missouri, a woman was rescued from the rubble of what used to be her home.
“It was just one big gust of wind and everything came in,” one woman said.
Debris littered the streets in the small Missouri city and several homes were damaged. At least one person was killed and others were injured after powerful winds lifted cars off the ground on tossed them around on Interstate 55. Another death was confirmed in Crossville, Illinois.
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