By Shane Nicholson
FAIRDALE – Search and rescue operations continue in Fairdale tonight after a tornado smashed through the small Northern Illinois community.
Buildings on both sides of Illinois Route 72 are completely destroyed leaving nothing but basements filled with debris where houses once stood.
One has been confirmed dead by Illinois EMA and seven have been transported to area hospitals.
Survivors are still being searched for in homes and buildings south of Route 72 in an area between West and Main Streets as of 11 p.m.
“This is a rescue operation,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott. “The west side of Fairdale is destroyed.”
The sheriff asked that all non emergency personnel who wished to help stay away until the morning.
Fairdale residents are being transported to a Red Cross station established in nearby Kirkland.
A bus from Northern Illinois University was brought in for residents still in the town.
A strong line of storms developed over Eastern Iowa Thursday afternoon spawning multiple tornadoes as it passed through Illinois.
The same storm which spawned the Fairdale tornado also saw a twister touch down near Ashton, tracking east to Rochelle.
Cherry Valley, Belvidere, Poplar Grove and other towns in the area also reported tornadoes on the ground.
The intersection of Routes 251 and 64 saw heavy damage with a restaurant on the corner being called a “total loss” by emergency responders who attended the scene.
Follow @ofvoid on Twitter for photos and updates from Fairdale.