Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Rare blitz of tornadoes leaves central IL with damage, injuries

Rare blitz of tornadoes leaves central IL with damage, injuries

People living in IL are picking up what's left of their homes after almost two dozen tornadoes ripped through the state, injuring at least 30 people.

The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down in eastern Oklahoma and is chasing reports of multiple other tornadoes as part of severe thunderstorms Friday night.

The National Weather Service says a rare wintertime tornado that struck Taylorville in central IL was half-a-mile-wide and stayed on the ground for at least 10 miles (16 kilometers). No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Around 30 people were injured, at least 21 were sent to the hospital with few suffering from critical head injuries, but there were no deaths.

That was the most tornadoes in IL during a December storm since a Dec. 18-19, 1957, outbreak produced 21, Smith said Monday afternoon.

Miller said preliminary estimates are that the Taylorville tornado may have been an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 miles per hour.

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"It's a miracle no one was killed in the tragedy of these tornadoes", said Gov. Bruce Rauner, who toured the area on Sunday. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures.

The severe weather in IL was part of a line storms that spun tornadoes in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, where one person was killed.

Taylorville in Christian County was one of the hardest hit communities.

Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall spoke to reporters Saturday night after the storms raked the city of 11,000. A lot of them were discharged within hours of their arrival. A 75 miles per hour wind gust at Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport on Saturday evening set a December wind speed record for the Illinois' capital, the State Journal-Register reported.

A full assessment will be completed sometime Monday or Tuesday after the teams have finished tracking the start and end points of the storms, Chris Miller, the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Fortune.

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