Freak Twisters Ravage Midwest

Two killed in unseasonal storms
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2008 11:29 AM CST
Lightning flashes through the sky as neighbors look through the wreckage of a home destroyed by a tornado near Niangua, Mo., Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. At least one person was killed Monday night when a tornado...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A series of freak tornadoes touched down last night across the Midwest, killing two Missouri women and leaving a swath of destruction in their wake, CNN reports. Another person was killed when another twister hit Arkansas this morning. “I’ve never seen damage like this in the summertime,” said one Wisconsin sheriff. “To see something like this in January is mind-boggling.”

In one town, the storm destroyed at least 55 homes. The National Weather Service received 37 tornado reports last night; twisters apparently hit in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma and along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. For Illinois, it was the first January twister since 1950. One resident said the tornado “just popped right out of the clouds” and another admitted he “prayed like a sissy.”