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Tornadoes, powerful thunderstorms kill 6 and level homes across Illinois, then sweep east

  • Friends and neighbors comb the rubble of Curt Zehr's home just outside Washington, Ill., on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Zehr's wife and adult son took shelter in the basement at the base of the pictured stairs as a tornado destroyed their farm house. They were not injured. The tornado cut a path of destruction through Washington. (AP Photo/David Mercer)The Associated Press

  • A young boy takes a break from helping comb the rubble of Curt Zehr's home just outside Washington, Ill., on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Zehr's wife and adult son took shelter in their basement as a tornado destroyed their farm house they were not injured. The tornado cut a path of destruction through Washington. (AP Photo/David Mercer)The Associated Press

  • A neighborhood in the Devonshire subdivision of Washington, Ill., is left in ruins after a tornado tore through the northern part of the town on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Peoria Journal Star, Ron Johnson)The Associated Press

  • An overturned car rests on top of tree branches and other rubble near the destroyed home of Curt Zehr about a mile northeast of Washington, Ill., on Sunday, Nov. 17. Intense thunderstorms spawning tornadoes swept across the Midwest on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Mercer)The Associated Press

  • A fire truck and other vehicles lineup near what was left of Curt Zehr’s home about a mile northeast of Washington, Ill., on Sunday, Nov. 17. Intense thunderstorms spawning tornadoes swept across the Midwest on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Mercer)The Associated Press

Storms that swept across the Midwest left at least six people dead and unleashed powerful winds that flattened neighborhoods, flipped over cars and uprooted trees.

Illinois was struck the hardest by the unusually powerful late-season tornadoes Sunday. Washington, a town of 16,000 about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, appeared to have the most severe damage.

State Trooper Dustin Pierce says the tornado there cut a path about an eighth of a mile wide from one side of town to the other. Entire blocks of Washington were leveled.

Other towns were heavily damaged, too, and officials at Chicago's Soldier Field evacuated the stands and delayed the Bears-Baltimore Ravens game.

Two people died in New Minden in southern Illinois, one in Washington and three others in Massac County in far southern Illinois.