NEW: At least one person died as a result of storms in Illinois, an official says
A hospital in Rochelle, Illinois, is in "disaster mode," a spokeswoman says
Fire department: Rescuers searching for trapped victims in Kirkland, Illinois
Tornadoes tore through parts of Iowa, Illinois and Ohio on Thursday in what forecasters from the National Weather Service warned is a “particularly dangerous situation.”
People across the Midwest should be on alert for severe weather, the weather agency said.
One person has died as a result of storms in Fairdale, Illinois, said Patti Thompson, a state emergency management spokeswoman.
In Rochelle, Illinois, there were “multiple reports of injuries and damage,” the Ogle County Sheriff’s dispatchers said.
A video of the storm on YouTube showed a massive twister barreling across an open field.
The Rochelle Community Hospital was in “disaster mode,” spokeswoman Kelly Smith said, with patients in the emergency room and urgent care because of the tornado.
Storm chaser Dan Gottschalk told CNN he observed “massive damage” north of Rochelle, spotting some homes with only their foundations remaining.
“You can hear the hissing everywhere from where the structures used to be,” he said.
Lindsey Clark, a reporter from CNN affiliate WREX, said rescuers were pulling trapped people from a home in the Rochelle area.
In Kirkland, Illinois, rescuers observed “significant damage” and were searching for trapped victims, the Rockford Fire Department said on Twitter. Accessing the community was difficult “due to damage and debris,” the department said.
As reports of tornadoes in Illinois, Ohio and Iowa grew, ominous storm images quickly surfaced on social media.