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A powerful storm system hit the Midwest on Nov. 17, trailing lightning, hail, high winds and heavy rain the next morning. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) registered more than 60 tornado touchdowns in several states, along with straight-line winds as fast as 85 miles per hour and baseball-sized hail. At least eight people perished, and some communities were “flattened out,” according to onlookers.

Aon Benfield says Nov. 17 provided “highly conducive” atmospheric conditions for explosive thunderstorm development. Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky bore the brunt of the storm’s damage, which the SPC says at its peak threatened more than 53 million people in ten states.

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