People in America’s Midwest have been surveying the damage caused by several tornadoes on Thursday.
Two neighbours – both women in their sixties – died when winds of up to 320 kilometres an hour ripped through Fairdale, one of several rural communities hit by the storms in Illinois northwest of Chicago.
Around a dozen others were injured and up to 20 homes destroyed in one small settlement alone.
One woman’s family had a miraculous escape when their house at Rochelle was destroyed while they were inside.
“I honestly don’t know how they survived I mean, from the looks of the house. They were hidden in the bathroom. There’s no basement, it’s just a slab. And it was just Candy, my dad’s girlfriend, and my grandma and their puppy were in the bathroom. And the bathroom was on the other side of the house where they found them, “ Jennifer Shaw said.
Elsewhere a dozen people were rescued after being trapped in the basement of a restaurant that was destroyed.
Meteorologists say the initial tornado – half a mile wide and one notch below the most severe classification – then divided into a pair of twisters.
After Illinois, Thursday’s storm and cold front headed northeast, dumping snow in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and sweeping across the Ohio Valley overnight.