Illinois surveys damage after rare December tornadoes

Cesar Mills
December 6, 2018

Central Illinois is coping with damages and injuries after a blitz of tornadoes Saturday, when 22 twisters were reported to the National Weather Service.

Survey teams say an EF1 tornado damaged businesses in the Republic, Mo. area around 1 a.m. Friday. If the majority are confirmed, that would be the most tornadoes in IL in a December storm since Dec. 18-19, 1957, when there were 21.

Smith says that while numerous injuries were reported in Saturday's storms no fatalities were reported in IL due to the severe weather outbreak.

Hardest hit was the town of Taylorville, about 30 miles southeast of the capital of Springfield.

Clean-up efforts are underway in central IL after numerous tornadoes tore through the area over the weekend. "It all goes out to the folks right here in our community".

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Andy Goodall, the city's assistant fire chief, estimates that over 100 homes were damaged.

A Taylorville Memorial Hospital spokesman said 21 people, ages 9 to 97, arrived for treatment Saturday. Most were discharged within hours. The tornado was rated an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 miles per hour. And in Arkansas, at least three tornadoes that largely caused property and structural damage were confirmed in the northwest and southwest parts of the state. It was rated an EF2.

Meteorologists in Arkansas have confirmed that at least three tornadoes developed from severe thunderstorms on Friday night.

"There were several people who were initially trapped in their homes due to damage initially but were rescued", Crews said. One death was reported in southwest Missouri early Saturday after thunderstorms there. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and some structures.

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