By Bruce Olson
HARRISBURG, Ill. — Powerful storms that spawned tornadoes ripped through the U.S. Midwest on Wednesday, killing nine people, including six in Illinois who were crushed when a house was lifted up and fell on them, authorities said.
Three people in Missouri were also killed by a storm that struck during the night. A tornado temporarily closed the famous entertainment strip in Branson, Mo., where country music shows and other performers draw thousands of people a day.
Two men and four women died when a pre-dawn tornado struck Harrisburg, Ill., a town of nearly 10,000 people, Mayor Eric Gregg said, describing the storm damage as “horrific.”
They were killed when powerful winds lifted a house up and dropped it on top of other homes in a housing subdivision adjacent to a wrecked shopping strip.
“There are hundreds of homes damaged, millions of dollars in damage. The hospital is…
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