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One Dead as Tornadoes Hits Rochelle Illinois [Video]

One Dead as Tornadoes Hits Illinois Town

Twitter | @psustormchase

A tornado touched down near Rochelle, Ill., Thursday evening, leaving one dead, according to a report, as well as substantial damage.

One person has died in the tornadoes or tornadoes that cut a path of destruction, but no further details were available, the Chicago Tribune reported.

A large twister crossed Interstate 39, and the tiny hamlet of Fairdale in DeKalb County took a direct hit, the Weather Channel reported.

Rockford Fire Dept. said in a tweet from Fairdale that “all structures in town are damaged.”

A sheriff’s dispatcher who declined to give her name said there was widespread damage but no immediate reports of injuries, Associated Press reported. The tornado swept across the town of Hillcrest, about 80 miles west of Chicago and just north of Rochelle.

The weather forced the cancellation of more than 800 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and delayed hundreds more.

Television footage showed multiple homes damaged in a small community in DeKalb County. Tornadoes were reported near Peoria, Illinois and Dewitt, Iowa earlier, but there were no reports of damage.

A tornado watch was posted for the Chicago area, meaning conditions are ripe for tornadoes to form. The watch extended across most of northern Illinois, eastern Iowa and northeastern Missouri.

Overall, nearly 70 million Americans were at risk for some form of severe weather as of late afternoon, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Tornadoes were also possible in portions of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

In addition to the dangerous aspect of the storms, travel disruptions ranging from blinding rain and flooded roadways to flight delays and cancellations are likely, AccuWeather said. This includes airports such as Chicago’s O’Hare International, one the world’s busiest.

One woman died in the Indianapolis area Wednesday night when she was swept away by a flash flood.

Further north, the seemingly endless winter of 2014-15 continued to hang on. Winter storm advisories and warnings were in effect across northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan and northern New England.

On Friday, the severe storm threat area will shift to the Southeast, Gulf Coast, and East Coast.

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