TODAY   |  November 19, 2013

Midwest tornado victims comb through rubble

After tornadoes wiped out many homes in Illinois and the Midwest over the weekend, the victims now take on the task of sorting through the rubble of their homes and belongings. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

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

>> big story here, a clean up from the powerful tornadoes. at least 59 have been confirmed so far. one of the largest november outbreaks in years. the death toll now up to eight people. most victims in illinois . 186,000 homes are still without power in the hardest hits states. let's get to dylan dreyer in washington , illinois for us once again. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. the tornado that devastated washington , illinois had winds up to 190 miles per hour. and even though it destroyed pretty much everything behind me the spirit and tenacity of people all across the midwest remains intact.

>> i lived here for at least five to ten years.

>> reporter: for scott gundy rebuilding starts with digging out his belongings.

>> you have to watch the nails. i'm a biker. that's in there.

>> no way.

>> it was on that side of the wall.

>> reporter: walking through the wreckage of his house he rekounlts the minute the twister hit.

>> this is where i saw it. like 1:00 and it was coming.

>> reporter: winds at nearly 19190 miles per hour. an ef-4.

>> windows are already busting. boom, boom, boom.

>> oh my god. this thing is huge and it's coming fast.

>> reporter: dozens of storms causing sheer destruction.

>> nobody has anything left. it's all gone. it's just all gone.

>> reporter: in cities from indiana.

>> i was in shock, which i think i still am.

>> reporter: to illinois .

>> i got the biggest thing -- sorry -- which was my family. so we'll take care of the rest.

>> reporter: the focus now turns to rebuilding.

>> our mission now is to recover and we will recover. we will prevail.

>> reporter: when we first met scott gundy on today he talked about the town's high school football team. monday it's players and coaches were out in the community lending a hand. today the panthers return to practice for this weekend's state playoff game.

>> this is the house my kids grew up in.

>> reporter: gundy plans on turning what is now a field of rubble back into home.

>> do you rebuild here?

>> oh, yeah. i love this town.

>> reporter: and i asked scott , i said, where do you begin? and in his way he said i don't know. how do you know what to do in this situation? but he said he's going to call his insurance company and figure it out from there. it's the sentiment of a lot of people here in washington . matt and savannah.

>> a story being repeated in so many communities and families