Massive Tornadoes Rip Through Illinois, Whole Towns Devastated [Video]

Massive tornadoes tore up Illinois Thursday night, killing at least one person and demolishing a number of buildings. In at least one small town, every building sustained damage from the twister.

NBC News reported that a tornado destroyed the small town of Fairdale, a northwest suburb of Chicago, and killed one person. Several more were injured.

Daniel Prothero arrived just after the tornado rolled through.

"The whole town was gone. It was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life. It was heartbreaking."

According to ABC News, every building in the town was affected by the twister. In total, 15 to 20 homes were completely leveled, in a town of just 75 residential buildings.

Authorities said they were confident no one else was killed by the tornado. City officials turned off the power to Fairdale for the safety of rescue workers, who are working throughout the night to make sure everyone else is accounted for.

In another Illinois town, Rochelle, a separate tornado destroyed four more homes and a restaurant called Grubsteakers, according to NBC Chicago. Rescue workers found several survivors underneath the debris of the restaurant; they had taken refuge in the basement.

Speaking to Chicago's WLS-TV, 81-year-old Raymond Kramer explained that shortly after arriving at Grubsteakers, the owner ordered everyone to get into the basement.

"No sooner did we get down there, when it hit the building and laid a whole metal wall on top of the doors where we went into the storm cellar. When the tornado hit, we all got a dust bath. Everyone in there got shattered with dust and debris falling out of the rafters."

No fatalities were reported from Rochelle.

CNN reports that in Kirkland, another Illinois town near Rochelle, the wreckage is so bad that rescue workers are still having a difficult time getting through to search for survivors and assess damages.

The tornado flurry is the result of a massive storm that has been tracked through multiple counties. The Storm Prediction Center reported eight tornadoes on Wednesday, touching down in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.

Luckily for Illinois, the tornadoes narrowly avoided major population centers like Chicago and Rockford, which is the state's third largest city.

[Image Credit: Getty Images]