As the cleanup got underway, authorities kept everyone but residents and emergency workers out of the affected neighborhoods. With power off and lines down in many areas, natural gas lines leaking and trees and other debris blocking many streets, an overnight curfew kept all but emergency vehicles off pitch-black roads. The only lights visible across most of Washington on Sunday night were red and blue flashes from police and fire truck lights.
Pierce said there were reports of looting.
About 75 friends and neighbors helped Zehr to salvage his family's belongings. He said he'd been at church when the tornado hit but that his wife, Sue, and son were at home.
A friend, Keith Noe, said the Zehr family still felt fortunate.
"They both walked out of the basement and that's what counts," Noe said.
Across Washington, an auto-parts store with several people inside was reduced to a pile of bricks, metal and rebar; a battered car, its windshield impaled by a piece of lumber, was flung alongside it.
"The employees were climbing out of this," Pierce said, gesturing to the rubble behind him. None of them was seriously injured, he said.
State spokesman Brian Williamson said hospitals reported treating about 60 people in Washington.
About 90 minutes after the tornado hit Washington, the stormy weather darkened downtown Chicago. As the rain and high winds slammed into the area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and ordered the Bears and Baltimore Ravens off the field. Fans were allowed back to their seats shortly after 2 p.m., and the game resumed after about a two-hour delay.
Just how many tornadoes hit was unclear. Although about 80 reports of tornadoes had come in as of Sunday night, the National Weather Service's Bunting said the actual number will likely be 30 to 40 range. He said that's because the same tornado often gets reported multiple times.
Babwin reported from Chicago. Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen and Andale Gross in Chicago, Ken Kusmer and Tom LoBianco in Indianapolis, Ed White in Detroit and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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