1 dead after storm leaves devastation across Midwest

The steeple at College Church in Wheaton, Ill., was toppled during a storm Monday in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Church officials check out the damage from the rooftop which also left several trees in the nearby park heavily damaged. (AP photo)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Hundreds of thousands across the Midwest remained without power on Tuesday after a powerful storm packing 100 mph winds battered the region a day earlier, causing damage linked to the death of a woman found clutching a young boy in her storm-battered mobile home.

The storm powerful storm known as a derecho tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles and causing widespread property and crop damage. The storm left downed trees and power lines that blocked roadways in Chicago and its suburbs. After leaving Chicago, the most potent part of the storm system moved over north central Indiana.

In Iowa, three of the state’s eight mobile coronavirus testing sites — in Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport — were temporarily closed Tuesday after suffering storm damage.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, a woman died at a hospital after firefighters pulled her from debris inside her mobile home after high winds rolled it onto its side Monday night, said Adam O’Connor, deputy chief of the Fort Wayne Fire Department. Firefighters found her under debris inside her toppled trailer and discovered that she was clutching a 5-year-old boy believed to be her grandson, he said. The boy was not injured but the woman died later at a hospital.

“They had to stabilize the trailer, crawl inside the trailer, find the two victims and bring them out,” O’Connor said.

“It’s awful. I was thinking about that all last night,” he said.

He said it took firefighters 14 minutes to remove the woman from the debris and lift her through the door of the trailer — now on its roof because it was toppled onto its side — in an area of Fort Wayne’s northeast side where there was widespread storm damage, including damaged trees.


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