It's a miracle people survived this thing. I'm still blown away by the image of folks driving on that highway with that beast off to one side.
New Video: Large, destructive tornado rips across northern Illinois. Please stay safe tonight! (hat tip to Matt Salo)
Posted by The Weather Channel on Thursday, April 9, 2015
Multiple tornadoes ripped through the rural Midwest on Thursday. A large and dangerous twister tore across fields in Iowa. And a twister touched down 70 miles outside of St. Louis.
Eight tornadoes were reported Wednesday in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, the Storm Prediction Center said.
But it appears residents have been fortunate enough to come away from the terrifying weather spectacle alive. Hail stones the size of tennis balls plummeted down on Ashton, Illinois.
It could have been worse as severe tornado damage dotted a path not far from the dense populations of Chicago and Rockford -- the state's third largest city. The tornado cut a 22-mile path through Ogle County, according to disaster management coordinator Tom Richter.
North of Rochelle, a tornado took away a local favorite restaurant -- Grubsteakers. "It's kind of one of your little greasy spoon restaurants," said Eric Widick, who drove up in his truck to help out.
"We're a community. If one person is in need, we'll all be there for them."
People were inside when the storm quashed Grubsteakers and turned over a semitruck parked outside. No one was killed or seriously injured, Widick said. Although a patron who found shelter in a restroom was trapped inside for about half an hour.