Tornadoes, Thunderstorms Damage Midwest on Tuesday

October 27, 2010; 5:35 AM ET
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Residents across the Midwest and parts of the South will spend today cleaning up the widespread damage left behind by Tuesday's tornadoes and powerful thunderstorms.

Over 300 reports of severe weather were declared on Tuesday to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. The majority of the reports pertained to damaging thunderstorm winds, but two dozen tornadoes were sighted.

Tuesday's violent severe weather targeted the area from the lower Great Lakes to western North Carolina and Mississippi. The Ohio Valley was hit the hardest.

The severe weather outbreak did not wait until the typical afternoon hours to get underway. Instead, one tornado reached Racine, Wis., shortly after daybreak.

According to the Associated Press, two people sustained injuries when that tornado ripped off part of a tractor factory's roof. The twister also uprooted trees, destroyed a six-car garage and tipped over several parked semi-trucks.

Another twister tore through Ohio's Van Wert County around midday on Tuesday. The roof of a home was completely ripped off, while a large windmill was carried 40 yards. The twister destroyed a barn before dissipating.

Later in the day, potentially two tornadoes left at least 11 people injured northwest of Charlotte, N.C. WCNC-TV reports that one injury is life-threatening.

Eight homes sustained damage outside of Vale, N.C. Three of those homes were completely destroyed. One home was blown off its foundation and onto the nearby road. Several vehicles were also damaged.

Debris and crumbled walls are seen at a barn that was lifted off its foundation by a tornado on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, in Mount Pleasant, Wis. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger) Upload your storm photo on our Facebook Fan page.

Tuesday's injuries were not all at the hands of tornadoes. Strong thunderstorm winds were also to blame.

A tree branch brought down by a gusty thunderstorm in Lindenhurst, Ill., impaled a woman in her abdomen. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the woman was in fair condition after surgery.

Many other trees were damaged throughout the Midwest on Tuesday not only from gusty thunderstorms, but also strong non-thunderstorm winds.

Numerous power outages also resulted. At one point on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that more than 145,000 homes and businesses were without power in Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and the St. Louis area.

Tuesday's violent severe weather erupted as a cold front sliced into an unseasonably warm air mass. The front is part of the monster storm that set a U.S. pressure record.

The front will continue to ignite severe weather today, but the Southeast and mid-Atlantic are now the target.

Residents in the Midwest will welcome drier weather today in the wake of Tuesday's severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Strong non-thunderstorm winds, however, threaten to hinder cleanup efforts, mainly in the lower Great Lakes.


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