Death toll from Midwest tornadoes reaches eight; up to 500 homes destroyed in one town

WASHINGTON, Ill. - Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region.

Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski says a 14-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a hospital after grabbing a downed power line Monday morning. He was walking home from a school that was closed due to power outages. Donakowski didn't provide the boy's name.

IMAGES | Tornadoes devastate Midwest:

Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening.

A band of moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods.

Mayor: Hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed

The mayor of Washington, Ill., estimates that up to 500 homes in his town were either damaged or destroyed by a wave of fierce storms that brought damaging winds and tornadoes to 12 states yesterday.

Mayor Gary Manier says, "Everybody's without power, but some people are without everything." Standing in the parking lot of a destroyed auto parts store, and near a row of flattened homes, he said, "How people survived is beyond me."

At least six people in Illinois were killed and dozens more injured.

Some roads are still impassible, and communication is spotty in some of the areas hit by the tornadoes and powerful thunderstorms. And it's possible that the number of deaths and injuries from the storms will increase today. The governor of Illinois has declared seven counties disaster areas.

An 80-year-old man and his 78-year-old sister were killed by a tornado that hit their farmhouse near the rural southern Illinois community of New Minden. A third person died in the town of Washington, while three others died in Massac County in the far southern part of the state. 

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