Cleanup begins in Illinois communities hit hard by deadly tornadoes

NAPLATE, Ill. -- Communities across Illinois are cleaning up from a deadly storm system that blew through the state and much of the Midwest.

At least three people died and authorities reported minor injuries. In Illinois, the storms damaged homes and businesses and toppled trees and powerlines.

The National Weather Service says the tornado that roared through Ottowa, Illinois, and the small village of Naplate packed winds up to 155 mph.

The weather service rated Tuesday's tornado, which caused severe damage in Naplate and left one dead in Ottowa, an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

The weather service did not rule out the possibility that other tornados may have touched down in the area southwest of Chicago. Baseball sized hail was also observed in the area.

An EF-1 tornado was reported near the northern Illinois town of Oregon. Straight line winds of around 80 mph following the tornado caused additional damage.

Authorities have identified the man who was killed by a deadly storm system that pummeled much of the Midwest.

The LaSalle County coroner's office said Wednesday that 76-year-old Wayne Tuntland, of Ottawa, was crushed by a falling tree. More than a dozen people in the area were injured.

Fire Chief John Nevins says about 50 of 200 homes were damaged in Naplate, a small community next to Ottawa.

Gov. Bruce Rauner toured the region Wednesday and thanked first responders.

The storms have been blamed for two other deaths, including one in southeastern Illinois and one in Missouri. The storm system has spawned several tornadoes and caused damage in more than half a dozen states as it moves eastward.

The National Weather Service has dispatched survey teams to assess the damage. Meteorologist Amy Seeley says the teams also will determine how long tornados were on the ground.