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Tornadoes touch down in Midwest amid flooding in Northeast and extreme heat in Southwest


(NEW YORK) — Severe storms spawned multiple tornadoes across northern Illinois on Wednesday evening that knocked down trees, ripped off roofs and disrupted hundreds of flights in the Chicago area.

There were at least five reported tornadoes in the Prairie State — two in Cook County and one each in DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties. One of the twisters that touched down in Cook County reportedly damaged warehouses on the west side of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Damage to homes and other buildings were reported elsewhere, according to the National Weather Service.

More than 170 flights departing O’Hare International Airport were canceled while over 500 were delayed on Wednesday, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.

The dangerous weather was part of a storm system moving through the midwestern United States. The severe threat shifts back into the Northeast on Thursday, stretching from Ohio to to Vermont.

A flood watch has been issued for much of Vermont, including the capital of Montpelier, which was already hit by historic rainfall and flooding earlier this week. The latest forecast shows an additional 3 to 5 inches is possible across northern New England, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Meanwhile, 100 million Americans across 13 U.S. states were under heat alerts on Wednesday, from California to Texas to Florida. Temperatures in Phoenix reached 110 degree Fahrenheit for the 13th straight day, putting Arizona’s capital on track to break the record 18-day streak that was set in 1974.

The latest forecast shows the heat is only going to get worse and won’t ease for at least another week, with temperatures across the Southwest expected to peak over the weekend.

Hospitals nationwide have seen emergency department visits for heat-related illness more than double over the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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