NEW MINDEN, Ill. (KMOX) – An elderly farmer and his sister were killed in the storm that swept through Washington County, Illinois on Sunday afternoon.
The coroner’s office says 80-year-old Joseph Hoy was found in a field along Eagle Road in New Minden. That’s about 50 miles southeast of St. Louis.
Hoy died from massive trauma. His farm was destroyed.
Hoy’s 78-year-old sister, Frances, died a short time later at a hospital from injuries suffered in the storm.
A third person died in Washington, Ill. while three others perished in Massac County in the far southern part of the state, said Patti Thompson of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She did not provide details.
With communications difficult and many roads impassable, it remained unclear how many people might be hurt or whether the death toll would continue to climb. The Illinois National Guard said it had dispatched 10 firefighters and three vehicles to Washington to assist with immediate search and recovery operations.
Whole blocks of houses were erased from the landscape in Washington, a rural community of 16,000, and Illinois State Police Trooper Dustin Pierce said the tornado cut a path from one end of town to the other, knocking down power lines, rupturing gas lines and ripping off roofs.
The storm also slammed through parts of Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky as it made its way east into the mid-Atlantic states on Sunday night.