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Fox News Weather Center

Tornadoes Rip Across Chicago Area, Michigan; Derecho Crosses Upper Midwest

Tornadoes tore through communities in the Chicago area and Michigan on Monday, injuring at least seven people, authorities said.

The weather system responsible for the severe weather outbreak also spawned a derecho that went from South Dakota to Wisconsin.

Derechos are long-lived complexes of thunderstorms that travel more than 240 miles and cause widespread wind damage, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

"This cluster of thunderstorms did fit the criteria for a derecho as it traveled from South Dakota through Wisconsin Monday morning," Thompson said.

"The sun then peeked out in many areas, which allowed it to warm up and destabilize the atmosphere. This led to additional thunderstorm development and severe weather during the late-afternoon and evening hours," he said.

One of the twisters heavily damaged property in Coal City, Illinois, southwest of Chicago. No injuries were reported, according to ABC7 Chicago.

The twister occurred around 10 p.m. Monday, local time. It damaged a school and a fire station.

The same storm, while still tornado-warned, tore down high-tension power lines to the Braidwood Nuclear Power Station in Braidwood, Illinois.

The station continued to produce electricity, Exelon Nuclear reported.

A trained weather spotter reported a tornado touchdown near Sublette, Illinois, where a private camping resort was damaged and one person seriously injured, The Associated Press reported.

In Michigan, more than 50 buildings and hundreds of trees were damaged from an EF-1 tornado that ran a 4-mile path through Portland, northwest of Lansing.

The tornado, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. EDT, had an estimated peak wind of 100 mph, the National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids said.