Tornadoes Slam Rural Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) --- The Latest on storms that moved across the Midwest causing multiple tornado touchdowns (all times local):

6:35 a.m.

One homeowner says he huddled in a basement with his wife, two children and seven neighbors when a storm that produced a tornado moved into the northern Illinois village of Seneca.

Jeff Maierhofer tells WLS-TV that his farm suffered extensive damage Wednesday when the storm hit the village about 70 miles southwest of Chicago. He says everyone is safe "but there's a lot of damage." The tornado is one of four confirmed touchdowns in northern Illinois.

The National Weather Service is sending out crews Thursday morning to survey damage and says more touchdown confirmations are likely.

Nate Hermann of Serena, a rural town just north of Seneca, told the Chicago Tribune that area communities are "wiped out everywhere." He described downed power lines and tree, and flattened corn crops.


6:15 a.m.

At least four tornadoes touched down overnight in northern Illinois, causing damage and forcing thousands of soccer fans to seek shelter during the Copa America semifinal in Chicago.

The National Weather Service in Chicago says survey crews will on Thursday morning investigate damage along three separate supercell paths. The weather service says the number of confirmed tornadoes will likely increase.

Officials also plan to survey the damage by air.

The weather service said firefighters responded to reports of people trapped in a house in Seneca, about 70 miles southwest of Chicago. No injuries were reported. Minor injuries and damage to a gas station were reported in Pontiac, about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Strong storms forced a two-hour delay in the Copa America semifinal at Soldier Field.