Tornadoes, hail and strong winds sweep through Midwest, Northeast

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 09, 2015 9:00 PM

(Reuters) - An intense and dangerous storm system on Thursday rolled through the Midwest and into the Northeast, bringing damaging winds, at least half a dozen tornadoes and reports of large hail, the National Weather Service said.

The weather service reported that a large and "extremely dangerous" tornado was confirmed just west of Kirkland, Illinois, 11 miles southeast of the Chicago Rockford International Airport at 7:09 p.m. Television meteorologists warned nearby residents to take cover.

Kirkland is about 65 miles northwest of Chicago.

A tornado watch for the entire Chicago area will last until 11 p.m. local time due to numerous tornado warnings west of the city, the weather service said.

More than 735 flights were canceled at O'Hare International Airport because of the weather, the airport said.

Storm spotters reported two tornadoes each in Peoria and Lee, Illinois, along with twisters in Clinton and Scott, Iowa, according to the weather service.

Emergency management officials in Clinton, Iowa, said they did not know the extent of the damage of a tornado that went through the eastern Iowa town at about 5:45 p.m.

The storm front brought with it strong winds that destroyed barns, uprooted trees and took down power lines as well as golf ball- and baseball-size hail in the Midwest and Northeast United States, the weather service said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Sandra Maler)