Rare December tornadoes reported in central US, killing 1 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Rare December tornadoes reported in central US, killing 1

Posted: Updated:
(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). 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 say... (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). 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 say...
(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). Joyce Morrissey sorts through the debris of her nephew Stephen Tirpak's house in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in central Ill... (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). Joyce Morrissey sorts through the debris of her nephew Stephen Tirpak's house in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in central Ill...
(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). Steven Tirpak uses a chainsaw to remove tree branches that fell onto his two-story home in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in c... (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). Steven Tirpak uses a chainsaw to remove tree branches that fell onto his two-story home in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in c...
(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). David Bowers, left, his son David and wife Tammy gather at the edge of their property in Taylorville, Ill., after assessing the tornado damage to their home Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The family took shelter... (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP). David Bowers, left, his son David and wife Tammy gather at the edge of their property in Taylorville, Ill., after assessing the tornado damage to their home Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The family took shelter...

By MICHAEL TARM
Associated Press

Residents in central Illinois on Sunday assessed the damage after rare December tornadoes, including one the day before that was a half-mile-wide, ripped roofs off homes in Taylorville, downed power lines and injured at least 20 people.

The severe weather in Illinois was part of a line of thunderstorms that raked areas of the central U.S. late Friday and into Saturday, killing one person in Missouri. The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma.

At least three tornadoes were confirmed in northwest and southwest Arkansas, which largely caused property and structural damage. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Peak months for tornadoes in much of the Midwest are April and June, according to the weather service. But at least 12 tornadoes were reported in Illinois on Saturday, including the Taylorville tornado, which has been confirmed. If the majority are confirmed, that would be the most tornadoes in Illinois in a December storm since Dec. 18-19, 1957, when there were 21.

The weather service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in Illinois, which included Taylorville, 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Springfield.

Photographs and video from Taylorville showed several houses flattened, with residents wading into debris to salvage what they could. Some homes remained standing but with gaping holes in the roofs or with no roofs at all.

The tornado was on the ground for around 10 miles (16 kilometers) before it thundered through Taylorville, and the weather service was able to warn residents of its arrival 41 minutes before it actually struck, Chris Miller, a meteorologist at the service's Lincoln office, said in a phone interview Sunday. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives.

Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall, speaking to reporters Saturday night shortly after the storm pounded the city of 11,000, said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own, Springfield's State Journal-Register reported.

A Taylorville Memorial Hospital spokesman said 21 people, from age 9 to 97, arrived for treatment Saturday. Most were released within hours. Miller said three people remained hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon.

Miller said preliminary estimates are that the Taylorville tornado may have been an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 mph. It could take several more days to know for sure.

The weather service said Sunday that a strong tornado that developed from severe thunderstorms Friday night touched down in Van Buren, Arkansas. It was rated an EF2. About 10 minutes later, a second weaker tornado was confirmed less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) away near the town of Rudy, Arkansas.

Damage surveys for the two tornadoes are ongoing but officials said dozens of homes were damaged.

Early Saturday morning a third tornado with estimated peak winds of 107 mph traveled about 8.5 miles (13.5 kilometers) through Spring Hill in southwest Arkansas. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures.

___

Associated Press writer Hannah Grabenstein in Little Rock, Arkansas, also contributed to this report.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Nice stretch of sunshine over next few days!

    Nice stretch of sunshine over next few days!

    Monday, December 10 2018 6:47 AM EST2018-12-10 11:47:51 GMT
    Getting the kids ready for school? It's looking like a chilly bus stop forecast! Be sure to bundle them up! #MorningReady pic.twitter.com/sr77CAdO1V — StormTracker 21 (@StormTracker21) December 10, 2018 Starting off the morning temperatures will remain chilly in the low 20s. Make sure to bundle up before heading out the door temperatures will only climb to a high in the mid-30s this afternoon. Make sure to grab sunglasses before heading out the door! A mostly cloudy start t...More >>
    Getting the kids ready for school? It's looking like a chilly bus stop forecast! Be sure to bundle them up! #MorningReady pic.twitter.com/sr77CAdO1V — StormTracker 21 (@StormTracker21) December 10, 2018 Starting off the morning temperatures will remain chilly in the low 20s. Make sure to bundle up before heading out the door temperatures will only climb to a high in the mid-30s this afternoon. Make sure to grab sunglasses before heading out the door! A mostly cloudy start t...More >>
  • Austintown library host their meet Santa event

    Austintown library host their meet Santa event

    Monday, December 10 2018 6:43 AM EST2018-12-10 11:43:45 GMT
    Kids have a chance to tell Santa everything they want for Christmas when he and his reindeer visit the Austintown library today at 6 pm.  Austintown library is hosting their meet Santa and his reindeer event today, there will be games, snack, and drinks in the meeting room.  Children will be able to take pictures with Santa's sleigh along with his reindeer, Rudolph. More >>
    Kids have a chance to tell Santa everything they want for Christmas when he and his reindeer visit the Austintown library today at 6 pm.  Austintown library is hosting their meet Santa and his reindeer event today, there will be games, snack, and drinks in the meeting room.  Children will be able to take pictures with Santa's sleigh along with his reindeer, Rudolph. More >>
  • Five children die in Youngstown house fire

    Five children die in Youngstown house fire

    Monday, December 10 2018 6:23 AM EST2018-12-10 11:23:49 GMT

    An investigation is underway after a deadly house fire sparked late Sunday night in Youngstown.

    More >>

    An investigation is underway after a deadly house fire sparked late Sunday night in Youngstown.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms