(NBC News) Devastated communities began to take stock of the damage Monday after a deadly storm system brought widespread destruction to many parts of the Midwest.
At least six people died as a result of a severe weather system that wreaked havoc as it tore across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Missouri and Ohio on Sunday.
In the town of Washington, Ill., about 145 miles southwest of Chicago, hundreds of homes were destroyed and one person died.
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It's a day people in the Midwest may never forget.
Dozens of tornadoes and intense thunderstorms have swept across the region, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities, killing at least three people and prompting officials at Chicago's Soldier Field to evacuate the stands and delay the Bears game.
In southern Illinois, the Washington County coroner says an elderly man and his sister were killed when a tornado hit their home around noon in the rural community of New Minden. And an Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman says a third person died in Washington.
With communications difficult and many roads impassable, it remains unclear how many people were killed or hurt by the string of tornadoes. The Illinois National Guard says it has dispatched 10 firefighters and three vehicles to Washington to assist with immediate search and recovery operations.
About 90 minutes after the tornado destroyed homes in Washington, the storm 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. The game resumed after about a two-hour delay.
There are reports of damage in several Illinois communities as intense thunderstorms and tornadoes sweep across the Midwest.
The central Illinois community of Washington appears particularly hard-hit. A state official says emergency crews raced to the area amid reports that people were trapped in buildings. But Patti Thompson of the Illinois Department of Emergency Management says communications are spotty and it's difficult to get information from the scene.
The National Weather Service says tornadoes touched down East Peoria, Washington, Metamora, Morton and other Illinois communities. Officials couldn't say whether it was one tornado touching down or several.
Bad weather also caused officials at Soldier Field in Chicago to evacuate the stands and suspend the Bears game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Forecasters say it's all part of a dangerous weather system that has the potential to be destructive and deadly.
Russell Schneider, director of the weather service's Storm Prediction Center, says some 53 million people in 10 states are "at significant risk for thunderstorms and tornadoes."
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