Tornadoes, damaging storms sweep through Midwest

CHICAGO (AP) - Emergency crews are checking reports of damage and injuries after severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across central Illinois today. An alderman in the community of Washington has told Chicago's WBBM Radio that damage there is extensive and there are "quite a few people hurt."

The National Weather Service says tornadoes touched down East Peoria, Washington, Metamora, Morton and other Illinois communities. Officials couldn't say whether it was one tornado touching down or several.

The stormy weather also interrupted the NFL game in Chicago between the Bears and the Baltimore Ravens. That game has resumed.

Forecasters say it's all part of a dangerous weather system that has the potential to be destructive and deadly.

Russell Schneider, director of the weather service's Storm Prediction Center, says some 53 million people in 10 states are "at significant risk for thunderstorms and tornadoes."

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