Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Tornado outbreak in Central Illinois

Tornado outbreak in Central Illinois

It remains unclear how many tornadoes blew through the region, but it won't be as many as 22, Miller said. Rauner and local officials will be touring storm-damaged areas. Preliminary estimates indicate that storm may have produced winds of up to 130 mph (209 kilometres per hour).

The weather service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in IL, which included Taylorville, 25 miles (40 kilometres) southeast of Springfield.

Weather service meteorologist Chris Miller told The Associated Press on Sunday the agency was able to give Taylorville an advanced warning of 41 minutes that the powerful tornado was headed the community's way.

Severe thunderstorms also raked IL and Missouri on Saturday. According to data from the Tornado History Project, the last time tornadoes were reported in IL in December was in 2015 when six tornados broke out. No injuries have been reported.

"This is the biggest December outbreak in IL since 1957", he said. One person was killed in Missouri.

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Central Illinois residents assessed the damage Monday after rare December tornadoes, including one that was a half-mile-wide and injured at least 20 people.

Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield. He said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own.

A Taylorville Memorial Hospital spokesman said 21 people, from ages 9 to 97, arrived for treatment on Saturday. 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 IL capital, the State Journal-Register reported. One death was reported in southwest Missouri early Saturday after thunderstorms there.

May is typically the peak month with about 15 tornadoes.

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