monday night as we bring you stories of shock and strength after millions of americans braved a line of monster storms this weekend. 53 million people were in the zone as dozens of tornados descended.... See More
monday night as we bring you stories of shock and strength after millions of americans braved a line of monster storms this weekend. 53 million people were in the zone as dozens of tornados descended. Take a look at this image, one tornado randomly carving a path of destruction, between the lines of houses were pulverized. Just outside those lines, safety. We have team coverage in the hard hit region tonight starting with abc's alex perez. Reporter: Standing on his back patio, chris lancaster watched as a monster zeroed in on washington, illinois. Get in the house! Oh, my god! Reporter: Within seconds the camera captures the debris swirling in that funnel. In less than three minutes after he started recording, the tornado hits his house, uprooting trees, tossing furniture. In the nick of time he dove into the blackness of his basement. What happened, chris? What did you get hit with? I don't know. Reporter: Lancaster and his family miraculously survived. I'm still alive and my wife and kids. Reporter: We walked down his block for the first time since he came face to face with disaster. Are we coming up to your house? Reporter: The heartbreaking moment that brought him to his knees. First time seeing it, huh? Reporter: His dream home flattened. That's my door. Reporter: Lancaster is one of thousands left homeless after tornados tore through seven states sunday, 75 twisters reported. 8 people are dead. I see everything gone. Reporter: Lancaster was looking for one thing, his cat tee tee. How could he possibly have survived? With were with him as he retraced his steps to his basement and then -- tee tee, buddy! It's daddy! Come here, tee, where you at, buddy? Tee tee? Daddy got you, baby! Daddy got you! Reporter: One small miracle. I knew you would come home. Reporter: Tonight the lan casters and their cat will spend the next few days with their in-laws. As you look behind me here it will be some time before this area starts to look like a neighborhood again. Diane? We wish him well tonight. Thank you to alex. As a measure of the power of the storm look what families in chicago found in their yard so far away, precious family photfoet crumpled and dirty and a church bulletin, a trail of belongings from the path of the tornado. Those memories had traveled 120 miles on the wind. Ginger zee shows us more about the rampaging tornados. Reporter: The warning, the cries, the outright prayer. And some above the big picture. This was washington, illinois before the tornado. And then that chilling image from today. A sickening scar stretching three miles, scouring everything in its path. A drone takes you in even closer. Look at this neighborhood. These homes gutted but homes across the street seemly untouched and the roads clear of debris. Unwelcome records were set sunday. This is the deadliest series of tornados illinois has ever had in the month of november. Reporter: Tornados in november are rare but far from unheard of. The nation typically sees an average of just over 50 twisters total in november, but yesterday we saw all of that and more in about 12 hours. So much of it had to do with the strength and position of the jet stream. Powerful southwesterly winds transporting moisture up from the gulf of mexico meeting with cooler drier air higher in the atmosphere, a recipe for this late season outbreak. For all of those horrible stories there are several of survival like marcie in indiana. She and 14 others including nine children crammed into her bathroom in her art gallery and barely survived. We could have been right here had it been seconds later, sooner. Seconds. Literally shut the bathroom door and the roof peeled away. Marcie telling me she felt so blessed not only to have survived but when she got home she hugged her sons tighter than she ever has. You can hear the chain saws behind me, day one of recovery behind them. Diane? We have two final images from this day, post cards from the storm zone, a young woman praying where her home once stood and a neighbor walking amid the wreckage, a tattered american flag in the distance. As we said, all of us with those families in the storm zone tonight.
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