Surprise Tornado Blitz Strikes Central Illinois, Injuring at Least 30

Surprise Tornado Blitz Strikes Central Illinois, Injuring at Least 30

The severe weather in IL was part of a line of thunderstorms that raked areas of the central United States late Friday and into Saturday, killing one person in Missouri.

More than a dozen tornadoes struck the state of IL, injuring at least 30 people and damaging hundreds of cars and structures. About 10 minutes later, a second weaker tornado was confirmed less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) away near the town of Rudy, Arkansas.

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

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.

Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield.

Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall spoke to reporters Saturday night shortly after the storms pounded the city of 11,000. Damage surveys for the two tornadoes are ongoing but officials said dozens of homes were damaged.

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The warning helped residents take cover and may have saved lives.

The National Weather Service received 22 reports of tornadoes in the state, and offices in Lincoln, Ill. and St. Louis, Mo. have sent out survey teams to affected areas to determine a count on how many tornadoes broke out across the state.

At least three people are being treated for major injuries at Memorial Hospital in Springfield and 18 more suffered minor injuries, Rauner said. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and some structures. A lot of them were discharged within hours of their arrival.

No deaths have been reported.

A wind gust of 75 miles per hour was recorded at 5:30 Springfield, breaking the last windspeed record for December set in 1972, the weather service said.

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