Death Toll from Midwest Tornadoes Reaches Eight

Extensive damage is pictured in the aftermath of a tornado that touched down in Washington, Illinois on November 17, 2013 in this photo courtesy of Anthony Khoury. A fast-moving storm system spawned multiple tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana, threatening some 53 million people across 10 Midwestern states on Sunday, U.S. weather officials said. Washington, Illinois is located 145 miles (233 km) southwest of Chicago. (REUTERS/Anthony Khoury/Handout)

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By Aaron Hepker

DETROIT (AP) — Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region.

The Shiawassee County sheriff's department says 59-year-old Philip Daniel Smith of Perry in central Michigan was found dead and entangled in high-voltage power wires after going outside late Sunday to investigate a noise.

Also in central Michigan, Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening.

A band of storms moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods. Officials say the storms also killed six people in Illinois.

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