Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Fog 27° Fog
News >  Nation

Rare December tornadoes reported in central U.S., killing 1

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 2, 2018

Steven Tirpak cleans debris from the remains of his two-story home in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (Ted Schurter / Associated Press)
Steven Tirpak cleans debris from the remains of his two-story home in Taylorville, Ill., Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. (Ted Schurter / Associated Press)
Associated Press

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. – Residents in central Illinois on Sunday assessed damage after rare December tornadoes that ripped roofs off homes, downed power lines and injured at least 20 people the day before.

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. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The National Weather Service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in Illinois, which included Taylorville, 25 miles southeast of Springfield, Springfield’s State Journal-Register reported.

Photographs and video from Taylorville showed 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.

Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall spoke to reporters Saturday night shortly after the storms pounded the city of 11,000, saying at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own.

A Taylorville Memorial Hospital spokesman said 21 people, from age 9 to 97, arrived for treatment Saturday. Most were discharged within hours.

The National Weather Service has confirmed tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois and was working to verify reports of tornadoes in Arkansas.

The National Weather Service says peak months for tornadoes in much of the Midwest are April and June.

It wasn’t only twisters that were a concern. So were heavy rain and strong winds. A 75 mph wind gust at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport on Saturday evening set a December wind speed record for the Illinois capital, the State Journal-Register reported.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.