The National Weather Service announced on Friday that the tornado
that began in Williamsville in Sangamon County and moved northeast
through Logan County on Wednesday was an EF3 tornado.
The EF3 had an estimated 140 mph winds and on the ground attained
a destructive path up to one-half mile wide in Logan County.
This tornado was on the ground a total of 42 minutes and traveled
It first struck the town of Williamsville and was on the ground
for six minutes while covering 4.5 miles.
It then entered Logan County, where it was on the ground for 36
minutes and traveled 20 miles
While in Logan County the tornado passed between major population
areas, with its primary destruction and damage affecting rural
homes, outbuildings, grain bins and farm equipment. It also caused
considerable crop damage in a line between Williamsville and Beason.
About three-fourths of its way through Logan County, between
Lincoln and Mount Pulaski, the tornado weakened to an estimated 110
to 120 mph.
On Wednesday afternoon Terry Carlton, county board chairman,
declared Logan County a disaster area. This opened the door for
state and federal assistance, which continues.
As soon as the immediate emergency needs were met, about 5:30
p.m., representatives of the Logan County Emergency Management
Agency were in the field to begin damage assessment and continued
the process through Thursday.
On Thursday evening after seeing the destruction from ground
level, Logan County EMA director Dan Fulscher and Carlton, with the
help of pilot Curt Fox, flew over the tornado's path by plane. Both
officials agreed that the view from above gave them a better
overview of the damage, and each said that the destruction was far
greater than met the eye on the ground. The view from above showed a
continual line of damaged crops and considerable debris from damaged
or destroyed structures littering the tornado's path.
Within hours after the storm passed through, friends, families
and businesses were at the sites that had damage to help with the
cleanup. That work continues.
In all, 35 farms were affected, with nine farmsteads gone. A
farmstead constitutes a home, three to seven outbuildings and 35-50
trees each. There were a few injuries but no fatalities reported.
Logan County EMA has assessed $4.8 million in damage.
On Friday, the Illinois EPA extended permission to burn certain
refuse at those sites.
Over the weekend there were an estimated 1,200 people from the
community volunteering in the cleanup. On-duty 911 dispatch
supervisor Mark Mann said, "I couldn't believe how many people
responded so quickly."
On Friday, Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials toured
southern Logan County. Iris Ducey said after seeing pictures and
visiting sites that she was surprised by the amount of destruction.
She also credited the Logan County EMA and the community on the
amazing organization of assistance that was taking place out at the
One remaining concern that will need to be decided is how and
when to the clean the excessive amounts of debris dropped in farm
fields. This will need to be removed before harvest.
AmerenCILCO was quick to respond following the storm, first
shutting off power to areas that had damage, then progressively
restoring power that was knocked out in all the surrounding
communities. All except for the individual farms and homes that had
been in the tornado's path had power back by Friday afternoon.
Several locations had propane and natural gas damage that was
After dark the county provided security to areas without power.
Contributions for families that have suffered losses
Immediate needs of displaced families and those with losses have
been met by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Many victims also
have had immediate help from family and friends.
Efforts are under way to help families with some of the more
long-term challenges. Currently, county board representative Rick
Aylesworth has been designated the chairman of short-term needs
A list is being compiled of banks that will have accounts set up
for specific families or where funds would go into a general pool
and then be distributed to victims as needed through a recovery
committee of the EMA.
Three area resale shops have agreed to work with families. If
anyone wishes to contribute clothing or household goods for the
families, those items can be taken to the Pink Shutter, Mission Mart
or New Beginnings Thrift Shop.
Any other businesses or organizations wishing to help the
displaced families can contact Rick Aylesworth at 217-341-1000.
Aylesworth is working with Salvation Army disaster relief
director Rebecca Van Nydeggen. The Salvation Army can help with
health and safety needs and is working to meet housing needs of the
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The Salvation Army is accepting disaster relief donations at their
center at 307 N. Kickapoo St. This includes financial help, food
pantry items and newly purchased clothing. Contributions can be made
in person or by mail to P.O. Box 52, Lincoln, IL 62656.
Van Nydeggen is taking calls from ministerial or agency personnel
at her cell phone 217-750-2400 for referrals or for requests made on
behalf of victims.
People with needs should call the Salvation Army office at
Shelter is also needed urgently for several Logan County family
pets made homeless by the complete destruction of their home.
Veterinary providers or animal lovers may call the Salvation Army at
217-732-7890 for detailed information on pets displaced by the storm
in Logan County.
People wishing to help in the cleanup can also contact the Logan
County EMA office during business hours at 217-732-9491.
National 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: one-half 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.
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).
continued through fields, causing extensive crop damage until
crossing into Logan County around 3:26 p.m. The path length through
Sangamon County was 4.5 miles.
In Logan County,
the tornado continued to move northeast and widened to close to
one-half mile at 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 it remained on the
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.
occurred in Logan County, when two men were thrown from a
maintenance building as the tornado hit.
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
For more information contact the Logan County EMA office,
Map identifies central Illinois areas affected by severe weather
Severe weather outbreak radar and report details from Aug. 19:
[Text from file received from the
Logan County Emergency Management Agency; LDN staff]