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Storm's path of destruction crosses several Midwest states

Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Rob Turpen of Hollister, Mo., holds his son Izaiha, 2, while his son Patrick, 3, climbs over debris at a friend's storm-damaged house just east of Branson, Mo., Wednesday. A powerful storm system lashed the Midwest early Wednesday, roughing up the country music resort city of Branson and laying waste to a small town in Kansas.

Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Windows are blown out of a Hilton hotel in downtown Branson, Mo., Wednesday.

Stephen Lance Dennee / AP

Julie Shaw picks up jewelry of Dorothy Hill in Harrisburg, Ill., after an early morning tornado struck the small town in southern Illinois on Wednesday. Hill was injured and take to the hospital. At least six people died in Harrisburg in the pre-dawn tornado.

Timothy D. Easley / AP

Workers with National Distributors Leasing examine damage to semi trailers following a tornado that went through the area Wednesday in Hodgenville, Ky. Waves of strong storms ripped roofs off homes, apartment buildings and a bank and destroyed several buildings in north-central Kentucky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Patti Longmire / AP

Mary Curtsinger looks over the devastation at her friend's home after severe weather passed Hodgenville, Ky. on Wednesday. Waves of strong storms ripped roofs off homes, apartment buildings and a bank and destroyed several buildings in north-central Kentucky.

The full story on msnbc.com reports that at least nine people were killed as tornadoes crossed the Midwest:

John Moore, owner of the damaged Cakes-n-Creams '50s Diner in Branson, Mo., said the apparent twister appeared to "jump side to side" as it moved down the entertainment district, right through the convention center, across a lake and into a housing division.

"The theater next to me kind of exploded. It went everywhere. The hotels on the two sides of me lost their roofs. Power lines are down. Windows are blown out," Moore said. "There's major, major destruction. There has to be millions dollars of damage all down the strip.