Tornadoes touch down across central Illinois

Staff Report

A series of strong storms passed through Illinois along the I-88/I-80 corridor Monday night producing dangerous tornadoes and leaving a trail of destruction.

Reports from south of Amboy said the Woodhaven Lakes Resort took the brunt of the storm as it passed through.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Sublette fire officials confirmed five people had been hurt, including one with serious injuries.

“Everything south of Hwy 30 has been affected,” Lee County Sheriff John Simonton told reporters late Monday night.

Rescue crews from as far north as Roscoe were called into action at the resort, the largest private campground in the country.

Meanwhile, south of Chicago emergency responders in the small town of Coal City reported multiple structures destroyed by the storm, said Joe Schroeder, director of the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency.

At least one person was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Coal City Fire Protection District Lieutenant Nick Doerfler.

“I can tell you that we’ve had everything from fully collapsed residences to minor damage as well,” Doerfler said, adding that power lines were down “everywhere” in the town.

At least three homes had been heavily damaged in Monday night’s storm, Brittany Halliday, daughter of Coal City Mayor Terry Halliday, told the Herald-News.

“There are some houses that are no longer there,” she added. “There are (boat) trailers all over the place. It’s just a mess.”

Traffic on a nearby I-55 was blocked because of fallen power lines leading from the Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station and at least three truck tractors overturned on the highway.

At least 19,000 customers in the area had been left without power, ComEd said.

A “very damaging tornado” had struck the region, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chicago said. Images published by local media showed yards and streets covered in debris and the roofs of several homes smashed.

NWS said it would send out survey teams to Coal City and elsewhere in north central Illinois on Tuesday to assess the damage left in the storm’s wake.

It had earlier warned of severe thunderstorms in the area and alerted nearby cities against the threat of flash floods.

More storms are expected in the area Wednesday afternoon and continuing through Thursday.

 

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