Weekend storms set IL record: 23 December tornadoes

Pablo Tucker
December 6, 2018

A survey showed that storm produced estimated peak winds of 155 mph (249 kilometres per hour). Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures.

Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported but at least 20 people were injured in Taylorville in Christian County, about 27 miles southeast of Springfield.

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

The tornado was on the ground for around 10 miles (16 kilometres) before it thundered through Taylorville, and the weather service was able to warn residents of its arrival 41 minutes before it actually struck, Chris Miller, a meteorologist at the service's Lincoln office, said Sunday. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives. That year, 25 tornados tore through Southern Illinois and parts of Missouri, killing 17 people and injuring 273 more.

At least 12 were reported in IL on Saturday.

IL typically sees 47 tornadoes a year but that doesn't include December, which doesn't have a monthly average, CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 20 unconfirmed tornadoes were reported in central IL.

Meteorologists said Sunday a tornado with peak winds of 115 to 125 miles per hour caused severe damage in northwestern Sequoyah County.

Up to three other tornadoes are being investigated in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.

Multiple tornadoes were reported on Saturday night across central IL, injuring at least 30 people in the small town of Taylorville, which has a population of just 11,200 residents.

The weather service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in IL, which included Taylorville, 25 miles (40 kilometres) southeast of Springfield. He said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own.

Officials say 21 people were hospitalized there, one critically, and crews responded to over a dozen houses that contained trapped people, per ABC News.

Other reports by iNewsToday