POSTED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 1:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 1:19pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — At least eleven people are dead, dozens more injured after a string of tornados marched across the Midwest early Wednesday. Kansas, Missouri and Illinois were hard hit while states to their east are bracing for what the storm system brings their way.
The funnel cloud over Hutchison Kansas Tuesday evening was an early sign, that it might be a rough night for the Midwest.
Daybreak removed all doubt early estimates are 60-percent of the town of Harveyville, Kansas was wiped out by a powerful tornado.
(Around a dozen people were hurt here, three critically.
Authorities say this was unexpected.
"The national weather service put out a severe thunderstorm warning, not a tornado warning, that's why sirens did not go off," Mark Engholm, Kansas Emergency Management, explained.
The popular tourist town of Branson, Missouri was hit, too, heavily damaging several of the famous theaters in the downtown area.
Some three dozen people had mostly minor injuries, but the sirens worked here.
"Fortunately, we were warned early and people took heed of that and so we had very few injuries," Mayor Raeanne Presley, Branson, Missouri, said.
While in nearby Buffalo, at least one person was killed when a suspected tornado spawned by the same storm touched down.
In Harrisburg, Illinois, though, the death toll stands at ten and the damage is widespread, from looks like another strong tornado.