According to the National Weather Service, more than 70 tornadoes were reported across the region, though that figure likely includes duplicates and should be considered preliminary.At least 10 states were in under severe weather alerts, as tornado watches were posted from Michigan to Arkansas. Hundreds of thousands of people were left without power, according to weather officials.
"We obviously have a very dangerous situation on our hands and it's just getting started," NWS deputy director Laura Furgione said during a conference call with reporters earlier Sunday.
The Chicago Bears' home game against the Baltimore Ravens was temporarily halted due to severe weather in the Chicago area, and fans were evacuated from the stands at Soldier Field. Play resumed several hours later.
Washington, 145 miles southwest of Chicago, was hit particularly hard.
"I went over there immediately after the tornado, walking through the neighborhoods, and I couldn't even tell what street I was on," Washington, Ill., Alderman Tyler Gee told the Associated Press.
Amy Paul, a spokeswoman for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, told the Peoria Journal-Star that the hospital was treating 37 tornado victims, including seven trauma victims.
Images posted on Twitter and Facebook showed tremendous devastation, with homes leveled, roofs torn off and cars crushed.
WFSB 3 Connecticut