Severe Storms Roll Through The Midwest

Credit Marcus Bailey / WMBD-TV/NPR

CHICAGO (AP) — Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest on Sunday, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities while sending people scrambling for shelter and even prompting officials at Chicago's Soldier Field to evacuate the stands and delay the Bears game.

The community of Washington in central Illinois appeared particularly hard-hit, with one resident saying his neighborhood was wiped out in a matter of seconds.

About 90 minutes after the tornado destroyed homes in Washington, the storm darkened downtown Chicago. As the rain and high winds slammed into the area, officials at Soldier Field evacuated the stands and ordered the Bears and Baltimore Ravens off the field. Fans were allowed back to their seats shortly after 2 p.m., and the game resumed after about a two-hour delay.

Earlier, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications issued a warning to fans, urging them "to take extra precautions and ... appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety." NFL games in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh also could be affected by the rough weather.

Stormy weather will move into Western New York Sunday night. A deepening low pressure system will lift across the upper great lakes  and push an energetic cold front through Western New York in the process. This front will likely be accompanied by a squall line of heavy showers and possibly some strong thunderstorms...any of which could produce damaging wind gusts.

There is a high wind warning for several counties including Monroe, Orleans and Genesee Counties from 7pm on Sunday to 1pm on Monday. There is also a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for several Western NY counties until 1:00 a.m. on Monday.