Rare blitz of tornadoes leaves central IL with damage, injuries

Steven Tirpak cleans debris from the remains of his two-story home in Taylorville Ill. Sunday Dec. 2 2018. Tirpak and his infant were not home when the storm struck. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in central Illinois

Authorities say at least 20 people were injured and dozens of homes were damaged. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives.

Central Illinois endured several tornadoes on Saturday, resulting in fascinating footage of the funnels spinning through the state.

"This is the biggest December outbreak in IL since 1957", he said.

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Officials say all Taylorville Public Schools will be closed on Monday due to storm damage and for the safety of students and staff.

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

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. Multiple homes, boats and power lines were destroyed.

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The weather service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in IL, which included Taylorville, 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Springfield. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

At least three people are being treated for major injuries at Memorial Hospital in Springfield and 18 more suffered minor injuries, Rauner said. No reports of fatalities have been recorded in IL, although one person has been killed in neighbouring Missouri as a result of the storms. Most were discharged within hours.

The National Weather Service has two teams in central IL right now to investigate the damage, which will take a few days to complete.

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Early Saturday morning a third tornado with estimated peak winds of 107 mph travelled about 8.5 miles (13.5 kilometres) through Spring Hill in southwest Arkansas.

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