Although much progress has been made since
Wednesday afternoon, it has become clearer that it will take
considerable time to clean up sites and a considerable amount of
debris that was spread across 22 miles of countryside. Last count
was 20 residences or structures damaged or destroyed, with an
estimated $4.8 million assessed value.
As quickly as the storm passed, emergency
responders were out looking for damage and to check for anyone who
might need help. Within hours friends, families and businesses were
on-site to help at the residences and farm homesteads that were
struck. That work continues.
The Logan County Emergency Management Agency
coordinated immediate emergency response for public safety. Damage assessment began just hours after storm
struck, as soon as the primary emergency needs had been met. Damage
documentation continued through Thursday and will be used to request
state and federal help.
To get a better concept of the storm's
impact, on Thursday evening EMA director Dan Fulscher and Logan
County Board Chairman Terry Carlton, with the help of pilot Curt Fox,
flew over the Logan County portion of the 22-mile tornado path from
Williamsville to just south of Beason. The view from above showed a
continual line of damaged crops, and considerable debris littered
the path where there were damaged or destroyed structures.
On Friday, Illinois Emergency Management Agency
officials toured southern Logan County. One representative said
after seeing pictures and visiting sites that she was surprised by
the amount of destruction. She also credited emergency management
and the community on the amazing the organization that was taking
Weather Service personnel were also in the fields in Logan, DeWitt,
Scott, Morgan and Sangamon counties on Thursday to survey storm
damage. Their field assessments were used in determining the
tornado's strength and tracks and to help identify if any of the
damage was caused by straight-line winds.
from the National Weather Service:
Tornado 3: Sangamon and Logan counties
Maximum intensity: EF3 (140 mph)
Path length: 24.5 miles
Maximum width: 1/2 mile
touched down on the west side of Williamsville, just east of Interstate 55,
at 3:18 p.m. It destroyed an antique mall, damaged the Casey's and
collapsed the canopy over the gas pumps. One person was injured at
the mall, while two motorcyclists were injured when they were thrown
from their bikes. The tornado moved northeast through Williamsville
and hit a church, throwing a two-horse trailer onto the roof and
collapsing the roof over half of the building. One person inside
the church was injured. The tornado then continued through the
northern portion of town, doing damage to trees and some houses. Two homes lost their roofs and several others lost portions of their
roofs. The tornado also caved in the southern end of a metal
building, part of an agricultural business on the edge of town. The
width of the tornado through town ranged from 100 to 150 yards. The
maximum wind speed of 135 mph (EF2) in Williamsville was determined from
the damage to the church.
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Continuing east-northeast, the tornado
flattened cornfields, damaged farm outbuildings and machine sheds,
and damaged homes, garages and vehicles on Lester Road. One home was
completely destroyed and another had extensive damage as the
tornado widened to 600 yards at this point. A 19-month-old baby was
injured as the family home was hit by the tornado. Maximum wind
speed at this point was estimated at 140 mph (EF3). The tornado
continued through fields, causing extensive crop damage, until
crossing into Logan County around 3:26 p.m. Path length through
Sangamon County was 4.5 miles.
In Logan County,
the tornado continued to move northeast and widened to close to
mile in several places. Multiple homes had roofs and walls gone,
outbuildings blown over a mile away, and grain bins blown away. The
tornado continued to produce widespread tree damage and flattened
many cornfields. In some places, the corn was lying in different
directions, indicating the strength of the winds as it moved past. At some places, the tornado did weaken, which coincides with the
rotation weakening on radar, but remained on the ground.
Wind speeds were
estimated at 140 mph as the tornado crossed from Sangamon County,
decreasing to 110 to 120 mph as it moved to areas between Lincoln
and Mount Pulaski. Two injuries occurred in Logan County, when two
men were thrown from a maintenance building as the tornado hit. The
tornado continued northeast before weakening to speeds of 90 to 100
mph, with a width of 50 to 100 yards. The tornado finally
dissipated just east of Beason at 4:02 p.m. The path length in Logan
County was 20 miles.
--End NWS report
under way to help families that have been affected by the tornado.
Lincoln Daily News
will bring you further updates, including how to help families in
need, as information becomes available.
central Illinois areas affected by Wednesday's severe weather:
outbreak radar and report details from Wednesday: