Franklin County EMA assisting Central Illinois with tornado recovery efforts

James Marshall
December 3, 2018

Peak months for tornadoes in much of the Midwest are April and June, according to the weather service. IL averages 47 tornadoes annually, usually peaking in May, but a strong cold front set up "the ideal conditions" for Saturday's blitz, says CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

To put Saturday night's storms into perspective, just 14 tornadoes total have been reported in the central part of IL between 1950 and 2017, according to Miller.

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

The National Weather Service said Sunday that a strong tornado touched down in Van Buren, Arkansas, about 130 miles (212 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock.

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. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures.

Hardest hit was the town of Taylorviille, southeast of Springfield, where storm winds wrecked houses, downed power lines, pulled trees up by the roots, and left an unknown number of people injured.

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

More than a dozen tornadoes struck the state of IL, injuring at least 30 people and damaging hundreds of cars and structures. Officials say 21 people were hospitalized there, one critically, and crews responded to over a dozen houses that contained trapped people, per ABC News.

The National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri and IL and was working to verify reports of tornadoes in Arkansas. Most were released within hours. He said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own. Several agencies report to the operations center, including the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Department of Public Health and the American Red Cross.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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