Tornado Kills Nine In Illinois & Missouri

At least nine people are dead in Illinois and Missouri after a powerful storm system lashed the Midwest early today. There were multiple reports of tornadoes.

The storms caused a lot of damage in the country music resort city of Branson, Mo., and laid waste to small towns in Illinois in Kansas.

An apparent twister rolled through Branson just before 1 a.m., and seemed to hopscotch up the city's main roadway. It took roofs off hotels and damaged some music theaters. More than 30 people were reported hurt, mostly with cuts and bruises.

The owner of a Branson diner says a theater next door "kind of exploded" and "went everywhere." He says hotels on both sides lost their roofs. John Moore says damage must be in the millions.

At least six people were killed in the southern Illinois town of Harrisburg after a storm leveled much of the community. Authorities had earlier reported ten deaths in the town.

From last night into this morning, at least 16 tornado sightings were reported from Nebraska and Kansas across southern Missouri to Illinois and Kentucky.


Authorities say 10 people have been killed in southern Illinois by severe storms that slammed the Midwest.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says the coroner's office in the small town of Harrisburg has reported the updated death toll.

The storm hit the area around 5 a.m., causing widespread damage.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Previous Story

At least four people were killed overnight as a line of tornadoes marched across the Midwest, hitting places like the tourist hub of Branson, Mo. Forecasters warned more twisters could strike the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians through Wednesday evening.

Three of the deaths occurred in Harrisburg, Ill., after a possible tornado swept through, destroying 35-40 homes, according to local TV station KFVS12. A hospital official later confirmed the deaths.

The fourth death happened when a suspected tornado hit a mobile home park in southwest Missouri, outside the town of Buffalo. Another 13 people at the trailer park were injured.

At least 8 people were injured when a suspected tornado ripped through Harveyville, Kan., on Tuesday night, NBC News reported. At least three of the injured are in critical condition, according to, and 40 percent of the town suffered damage.

NBC affiliate KSHB TV reported that an apartment complex and a church were among the damaged buildings in the town of about 250 people.

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  • by Family in Harrisburg on Feb 29, 2012 at 11:18 AM
    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families in the town of Harrisburg. This is the town that my mother is from and still has family there. May God bless each and everyone.
  • by M Location: Greenville on Feb 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    This is so sad...most people are sleeping at 5 am and wouldn't even have had to chance to protect themselves better...RIP!

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