The Latest on weather: At least 7 injuries in Illinois storm

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Posted: Jun 23, 2015 1:56 AM
The Latest on weather: At least 7 injuries in Illinois storm

12:15 CDT

Authorities say at least seven people have been injured after severe storms that spawned at least one tornado tracked across northern Illinois.

High winds caused property damage and uprooted trees the Lee County community of Sublette on Monday night. Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Schultz says one person in Woodhaven Association, a private camping resort, was hospitalized with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening.

Schultz says four other "walking wounded" were either treated on scene or refused treatment.

Further east in Grundy County, Emergency Management Director Joe Schroeder told WGN-TV early Tuesday that there were at least two injuries in Coal City, where the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down.

Authorities were still in search-and-rescue mode there early Tuesday morning, and a shelter was opened at a local high school.

The storms were continuing east, with parts of northern Indiana and southern Michigan under a tornado watch early Tuesday.

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10:45 p.m. CDT

Authorities say high winds have caused heavy damage in Coal City, a community of about 5,000 residents south of Chicago.

Lt. David Doerfler of the Coal City Fire Protection District said late Monday that in addition to structural damage, roads in the city have been blocked by fallen trees and power lines. He says there have been no confirmed reports of injuries.

The National Weather Service reports high winds have also caused damage near the Lee County community of Sublette.

Meteorologist Gino Izzi says he couldn't confirm that a tornado touched down in the community, located about 85 miles west of Chicago. However, downed trees and power lines and damage to vehicles at a recreation trailer park were reported.

No injuries were reported when the roof of a sporting goods store in nearby Sterling collapsed.

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8 p.m. EDT

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in a small western Michigan community.

The weather service's office in Grand Rapids says the twister that hit the ground about 2:30 p.m. Monday had winds of about 100 miles per hour.

Authorities say at least five people had to be rescued or helped from collapsed or damaged buildings in Portland, a city of about 3,900 that's 20 miles west-northwest of Lansing.

A mother and two small children were helped from a collapsed Goodwill store, while two other people were helped out of a damaged pharmacy.

The weather service says severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect into the evening.

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5:30 p.m. EDT

Officials say a wind gust of 95 mph was recorded near a small northwest Iowa city where there's also reported damage to properties and trees.

The National Weather Service says straight line winds associated with thunderstorms moved through an area near Sheldon early Monday. A hangar at the local airport was destroyed.

Officials say a survey of the area turned up damage at two farmsteads and numerous trees. There are no reports of injuries.

Weather officials say large hail and damaging winds are possible in other parts of Iowa Monday afternoon and into the evening as thunderstorms continue to move through the state. Thunderstorms in southeast Iowa will pose the biggest threat.

The forecast doesn't rule out possible tornadoes, and heavy rainfall in some areas may produce flash flooding.

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5:20 p.m. EDT

At least five people had to be rescued or helped from collapsed or damaged buildings after a severe storm swept through a small Michigan community.

Portland Fire Chief John Baker says other buildings are collapsed and trees have fallen Monday afternoon on homes.

A mother and two small children were helped from a collapsed Goodwill store, while two other people were helped out of a damaged pharmacy.

Minor injuries have been reported.

Baker says "the entire city ... is unsecure" and that people should be avoid coming into Portland which is east of Grand Rapids. He says he can't confirm if the damage was caused by a tornado.

The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect into the evening.

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4:30 p.m. EDT

Severe thunderstorms are pushing across Michigan's Lower Peninsula, causing damage to buildings in one western community and spurring authorities in Detroit to start their annual fireworks show one hour early.

Ionia County Sheriff Dale Miller tells television station WZZM that strong winds hit Portland on Monday afternoon. He says emergency crews have been dispatched, and it wasn't immediately clear if anyone was hurt.

Brittny Clark tells WOOD-TV that she was working at the Red Tomato restaurant in Portland when the winds hit, knocking down trees and heavily damaging several buildings.

The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect into the evening.

The annual fireworks display over the Detroit River was scheduled for 10:06 p.m., but organizers moved it to 9:06 p.m. due to the threat of thunderstorms.

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3:10 p.m. CDT

Weather officials say large hail and damaging winds are possible in parts of Iowa as thunderstorms move through the state.

The National Weather Service says thunderstorms in southeast Iowa will pose the biggest threat Monday afternoon into the evening. Parts of central Iowa will also be affected.

The forecast doesn't rule out conditions for tornadoes, and heavy rainfall in some areas may also produce flash flooding.

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3 p.m. CDT

Airlines have canceled more than 500 flights at Chicago's two international airports amid forecasts of thunderstorms that could bring damaging winds and hail to the region.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1dZKUWd ) the city's Department of Aviation says airlines at O'Hare canceled 450 flights Monday. More than 60 flights have been canceled at Midway.

The National Weather Service says severe storms were expected to develop across southern Wisconsin and Iowa late Monday afternoon and spread into northern Illinois. Forecasters say the thunderstorms could be "explosive" and pose a risk of large, damaging hail and strong winds.

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2:50 p.m. CDT

A thunderstorm carrying high winds knocked down trees in southern Wisconsin, and also knocked out power to some areas.

Numerous trees were downed in Lancaster. There were also reports of damage to sheds and outbuildings in other parts of Grant County. Grant County Emergency Management director Steve Braun tells WMTV that several homes were also damaged and the power was out in some areas.

Trees and power lines were also down in Jefferson County.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, about 32,000 Wisconsin residents were without power — 22,000 in the Milwaukee area and 10,000 in southwestern Wisconsin.

In Vilas County, a woman was hurt when a tree branch struck her head. She was taken to a hospital.

Much of southeastern Wisconsin was under a severe thunderstorm watch through Monday afternoon.

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12:30 p.m. CDT

Violent thunderstorms early Monday caused damage throughout eastern South Dakota, leaving thousands of people without power and zeroing in on the town of Garretson, where damage was particularly extensive.

Winds downed trees and power poles in the town 10 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, blew over four tanks at a fertilizer plant, and led to a gas leak that prompted the evacuation of a mobile home park. Several homes were damaged but no injuries were reported.

The Red Cross was providing help.

The National Weather Service sent a survey team to Garretson to investigate whether straight-line winds or a tornado caused the damage, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

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This story has been corrected to show in 5:20 p.m. item that trees have fallen on Monday afternoon.