MILLBURY, Ohio -- A tornado unleashed a "war zone" of destruction in northwest Ohio, destroying dozens of homes and an emergency services building as a line of storms killed at least seven people and threatened to do more damage Sunday as it hit the Northeast.
Storms collapsed a movie-theater roof in Illinois and ripped siding off a building at a Michigan nuclear plant, forcing a shutdown. But most of the worst was reserved for a 100-yard-wide, 7-mile-long strip southeast of Toledo now littered with wrecked vehicles, splintered wood and family possessions.
The tornado ripped the roof and back wall off Lake High School's gymnasium about 11 p.m. Saturday, several hours before the graduation ceremony was supposed to begin there.
Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer flew over the damaged area and said at least 50 homes were destroyed and another 50 severely damaged, as well as six commercial buildings.
"It's a war zone," Hummer said. "It's pretty disheart- ening."
Rescue officials still were searching through homes Sunday and couldn't say whether anyone else was missing, Lake Township Fire Chief Todd Walters said.
The tornado turned a township police and emergency medical services building into a mishmash of two-by-four framing and pink insulation. Hummer was talking to a police dispatcher by phone when the storm hit.
The storm ripped off most of the building's back half and wrapped part of the metal roof around a tree. At least six police vehicles -- half the township's fleet -- were destroyed.
The storm knocked out emergency services for a short time, and all the emergency dispatchers and 911 operators had to be moved to a nearby town.
"When the people who are supposed to help you are victims of the storm, it does take you a minute to catch your breath," Hummer said.
Those killed included a person outside the police department and a motorist, Hummer said. He said a young child and two other victims were from nearby Millbury, a bedroom community of roughly 1,200 about 10 miles southeast of Toledo. Hummer said two other people died at hospitals but he did not have details.
One of the victims was the father of Lake High School's valedictorian, said Tim Krugh, president of the school district's board. Krugh said the school has rescheduled graduation for Tuesday evening at a Toledo community college.
At least 17 people in the Toledo area were hospitalized, including two adults and two children in critical condition, Mercy hospital system spokeswoman Gloria Enk said.
In southeastern Michigan, severe storms and high winds ripped siding off a building at the Fermi 2 nuclear plant, causing it to shut down automatically, said Dan Smith, the public information officer for Monroe County.
About 35,000 people were without power, but it wasn't clear whether that was directly related to the nuclear plant's shutdown or because of damage to power lines in the area, Smith said.
Tornadoes also were reported in Illinois. More than a dozen people were injured in Dwight, Ill., where about 40 mobile homes and 10 other homes were destroyed, Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said.