TODAY

TODAY   |  November 18, 2013

40 tornadoes devastate Midwest

Heavy rain and winds were the least of some residents’ worries after dozens of tornadoes struck parts of the Midwest, including Illinois, where there were several fatalities. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> the midwest went through it yesterday.

>> we knew this was going to happen on friday and when they issued a high risk , which is something they never do in november we knew we were in for it.

>>> the powerful storms that spawned the deadly tornadoes in the midwest . she is in washington illinois for us. what is the scene there?

>> reporter: it's heartbreaking to see the devastation in this area of washington , illinois . we had as many as 40 tornadoes yesterday across five states. sadly, at least six people were dead. the thing with the storms, they were traveling at highway speeds. traveling at times up to 70 miles per hour leveling some towns across the midwest in an instant.

>> our father who are in heaven.

>> reporter: a desperate prayer as a monster tornado passes by and dozens of twisters head across the heart land. a tornado killed two people there but it could have been worst i. ripped the steeple off this church. at the height of the storm anchors at a peoria news station had to sign off and seek shelter.

>> we need to go up. we'll be back when we can.

>> the game will be temporarily suspended.

>> reporter: a retreat was ordered for fans and players alike as the bears and ravens waited out a tornado warning . today show viewers using twitter to send us stunning pictures. a twister churning across a field. a home and car destroyed and several imagines of the splintered landscape left by the tornadoes. one twister tore up a coffee shop in indiana.

>> the debris started to kick up and that's when i said, mom, i've got to go.

>> reporter: some sections of washington , illinois were leveled while others were left relatively untouched.

>> those are our two vehicles sitting across in the field. one of which was inside of our garage.

>> reporter: cars gone. homes destroyed. this survivor is still counting his blessings.

>> houses can be rebuilt but people can't.

>> reporter: that hard work of rebuilding has already begun. now skies are clear here in washington , illinois but temperatures have tumbled. so for the tens of thousands of people without power, it is only going to make matters worse in this devastated area . matt.

>>> dylan, thank you very much.