Extreme weather batters parts of U.S.

Residents in Naperville, Illinois - about 30 miles west of Chicago - woke up to extensive damage on Monday after a tornado tore through the area overnight, bringing heavy rain and dangerous wind.

The entire side of this home in a Naperville neighborhood was ripped off - and local media reported there were about 130 homes damaged by what the National Weather Service confirmed was a "large and extremely dangerous tornado."

Many in the greater Chicago area were also left without power - with over 20,000 ComEd customers waking up to outages on Monday.

Meanwhile – dangerous weather is also battering the south.

Tropical storm Claudette neared the coast of the Carolinas on Monday and is packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

The storm is linked to a car crash over the weekend that left nine children and a young father dead when a van and other vehicles slammed together on a wet Alabama highway.

Eight children in a van from a youth home for abused or neglected children were killed in the Saturday afternoon 18-vehicle pile-up - that also killed a nine-month-old girl and her 29-year-old father in another vehicle.

The National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB said it would investigate the highway crash.

Claudette - which is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone Tuesday afternoon - was also blamed for an additional two deaths - according to local media reports - after a tree fell on a home outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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