PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP/KMOX) – Authorities say a tornado that caused widespread damage in Missouri was a strong one that was on the ground for several miles.
National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Shanklin says the tornado that struck the area near Perryville Tuesday night was a strong one, though the wind speed has not yet been determined.
Related story: Tornadoes, Hail Cause Mass Damage in Missouri, Illinois
Perryville Fire Chief Jeremy Triller says the twister was on the ground for up to 15 miles, starting in Missouri and ending in Illinois.
A 24-year-old Perryville man died when the vehicle he was in was blown off of Interstate 55 and he was ejected.
More than 100 homes in the area near Perryville were damaged, many of them destroyed. Twelve people were injured but none of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
Ameren Missouri crews were mobilized along with two storm trailers, a mobile command center and more than 100 storm workers to assist in power restoration efforts.
A helicopter is assessing damage to better aid restoration efforts in Southeast Missouri.
Just over 5,000 customers in Missouri are without power, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is pledging state resources to help communities there recover.
Rain, hail and multiple tornadoes swept through leaving two dead and more injured. Rauner visited Ottawa, where a nursing home was hit — also the nearby town of Naplate where many homes were damaged.
“We’re going to be helping with the clean-up and the organization,” Rauner says. “We want to make sure that the insurance companies are responding quickly, and helping the families to recover, and the businesses recover here.”
Two people died in the Illinois tornadoes, including a 76-year-old man in Ottawa killed by an uprooted tree and a 71-year-old man in Crossville.
Ameren Illinois’ senior director of division operations John Barud says they mobilized Tuesday at the first forecasts for severe weather.
Crews were told to show up packed for three days away from home.
More than 125 power poles were snapped Tuesday night, from Ottawa up north to Belleville in the Metro-East.
Barud says this first storm of the season was good experience for utility crews to prepare for what may happen in the spring.
The White House says President Donald Trump is monitoring severe weather that caused a string of tornadoes blamed for three deaths in the Midwest.
The deadly storm is moving to the East, and White House spokesman Sean Spicer says the president urges everyone in the storm’s path to follow directions from emergency services officials and stay inside.
Spicer says the White House will stay in touch with state and local officials to provide federal support as needed.
Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed in storms that began Tuesday night. One man was killed in Missouri and two people died in Illinois.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)