Thunderstorms leave widespread damage; roof ripped from high school gym in central Illinois


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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Thunderstorms packing 70 mph winds ripped the roof off a school gymnasium in central Illinois, forcing a basketball team practicing in a neighboring gym to shelter in a locker room.

Friday's storms caused widespread damage, much of it from uprooted trees and falling tree limbs. Power was knocked out to tens of thousands of homes and business in the Chicago area, where a falling tree struck and killed a bicyclist.

In the small central Illinois city of Virginia, the winds ripped the roof from the Virginia High School gymnasium. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that no one was injured. But members of the junior high girls basketball team had to seek shelter.

WMAQ-TV in Chicago reported that winds damaged the roof of a nursing home in suburban Morton Grove.

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