Dangerous 'Derecho' Thunderstorm Pounds Midwest

Parts of the Midwest are cleaning up after a rare and dangerous weather event.

A series of thunderstorms called a "derecho" roared through Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois Monday. At least two deaths have been attributed to the event.

Hundreds of thousands lost power. Chicago's tallest building, Willis Tower, was hit repeatedly by lightning.

O'Hare Airport is still under a flood warning after floodwaters brought traffic nearby to a halt, reports CBS Chicago's Vince Gerasole.

The National Weather Service labeled the derecho "particularly dangerous."

Police said a man in northern Indiana was killed when a tree fell onto a trailer home and another died when strong winds caused a building to collapse in eastern Iowa.

Golf-ball-size hail also pounded fields and damaged homes.

Rescue crews were resuming the search early Tuesday for a teenager who was swept away in a Cedar Rapids storm drain after heavy rainfall overwhelmed the eastern Iowa city's sewer system.

The 17-year-old boy was swept away by the fast-moving water in the drain in the grounds of an elementary school around 7:20 p.m. Monday, city public safety communications coordinator Greg Buelow said in a statement. Buelow did not explain how the teenager ended up in the drain.

Early Tuesday, Cedar Rapids Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Gibson said he still considered the operation a rescue mission. Buelow said he expected the search to resume after 8 a.m.

One of two friends with the teenager tried to save him but was also dragged into the drain, Buelow said. That teen traveled along the drain for more than a mile, eventually emerging in Cedar Lake, he said. The boy walked to a hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities have not released the teens' names.

Also in Cedar Rapids, several workers were hurt trying to roll out the tarp to cover the field at a minor league baseball game.

"What's not destroyed is damaged," tornado victim Arnold Lewis said in Iowa. "I mean, I've got a mess. I've got a real bad mess."

Along the Iowa-Illinois border torrential rains caused dangerous flash flooding, stranding drivers in knee deep water.

At least 90,000 homes were left without power in southeastern Wisconsin, while reports of tornado touchdowns popped up throughout the region.

DTE Energy in Michigan said it had about 140,000 outages at homes and businesses Tuesday morning. Consumers Energy told MLive.com it had more than 35,000 outages. Indiana Michigan Power had 29,000 Michigan outages.

Crews were working to restore power to thousands of customers left without electricity in southern Wisconsin.

At least 115,000 customers of Milwaukee-based We Energies were without power at the peak of the outage.

We Energies spokesman Rick White says power has been restored to more than 80,000 customers, but about 36,000 customers were still without electricity Tuesday morning.

White says Monday's storm damaged 29 power poles. He calls it the utility's worst outage in a decade.

Across the rest of southern Wisconsin, Madison-based Alliant Energy says about 1,500 customers remained without power early Tuesday, down from a high of 10,000.

Chief meteorologist Craig Setzer of CBS Miami reports the threat of severe weather from the storm system will move slightly southeast, and be a danger from upstate New York through the Ohio valley.


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