Storms sweep across Midwest, kill 6 in Illinois - WNEM TV 5

Storms sweep across Midwest, kill 6 in Illinois

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SAGINAW, MI (AP) -

Strong wind and rain from a Midwestern storm has slammed into Michigan, knocking out power to thousands of people.

There are no immediate reports of injuries Sunday, but Consumers Energy reports more than 190,000 customers without power, with most in Kalamazoo and Kent counties. DTE Energy says about 200,000 customers have lost electricity.

A tornado watch was posted until 8 p.m. EST for most of the Lower Peninsula. A watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado.

The National Weather Service posted flood warnings in the northwestern Lower Peninsula after reports of 1 to 3 inches of rain.

The Grand Haven Tribune says a U.S. Coast Guard crew rushed to a Lake Michigan pier after getting a call about a person possibly in the water. There was no confirmation.

Meanwhile, storms that swept across the Midwest left at least six people dead and unleashed powerful winds that flattened neighborhoods, flipped over cars and uprooted trees.

Illinois was struck the hardest by the unusually powerful late-season tornadoes Sunday. Washington, a town of 16,000 about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, appeared to have the most severe damage.

State Trooper Dustin Pierce says the tornado there cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of town to the other. Entire blocks of Washington were leveled.

Other towns were heavily damaged, too, and officials at Chicago's Soldier Field evacuated the stands and delayed the Bears-Baltimore Ravens game.

Two people died in New Minden in southern Illinois, one in Washington and three others in Massac County in far southern Illinois.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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