The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said storms later Friday could do more damage from northern Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico as communities prepare to mark the start of the new year. Forecasters posted tornado watches for the region that were set to run until 8 p.m.
"It sucked me out of my house and carried me across the road and dropped me," Chris Sisemore of Cincinnati told The Associated Press on Friday. "I was Superman for a while. ... You're just free-floating through the air. Trees are knocking you and smacking you down."
Sisemore said he tried to crawl under his bed and cling to the carpet, fearful a nearby pecan tree would fall into his home. As he nursed cuts, scrapes and bruises to his arms, knees and back, he recalled opening his eyes as he flew because he didn't believe he'd see 2011.
"I wanted to see the end coming. You're only going to see it one time a