USA: Giant tornado rips through Illinois, seven other states on alert

April 10, 2015 | By | Reply More

Apr 10, – Supercell thunderstorms produced a large tornado that touched down Thursday night in northern Illinois, killing one person and injuring seven others in one tiny community as severe weather pummeled the Midwest.

hromedia USA Giant tornado rips through Illinois, seven other states on alert intl. news2One person was killed in Fairdale, an unincorporated town of about 200 residents, and seven were taken to area hospitals for their injuries, Matthew Knott, division chief for the Rockford Fire Department, said at a news conference early Friday.

Every home in the town was affected, authorities said. DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said in a news release that approximately 15 to 20 were totally destroyed.

Authorities said that they were fairly confident there were no more victims among the debris but that they would be working Friday to account for every single resident, including those who may have left town before the storm.

The National Weather Service tweeted around 7 p.m. that a tornado was on the ground in nearby Rochelle and urged residents to seek shelter immediately.

Robin Biggs, an employee at the Super 8 motel in Rochelle, which is about 80 miles west of Chicago, said she took video of the storm, which she said “took everything out in its path.”

“I have lived her 18 years, and I have never seen a tornado that big or stay on the ground that long. … This just stayed down and went all the way across the horizon,” she said.

Ogle County Sheriff Brian Van Vickle said in a news conference that about 20 homes there were severely damaged or destroyed, but no deaths or significant injuries were reported. Ogle County is adjacent to DeKalb County.

Van Vickle said 12 people were trapped in the basement of Grubsteakers, a Rochelle restaurant that collapsed during the storm.

One of those rescued from the restaurant, Raymond Kramer, 81, told Chicago’s WLS-TV that he was trapped with 11 others in the storm cellar for 90 minutes. They were freed only after emergency crews removed debris that had fallen over them. He said none of those rescued was injured.

Kramer said he and his wife pulled over at Grubsteakers just moments before the tornado struck. He said he was taking photos of the storm from the doorway when the restaurant owner ordered everyone into the storm cellar.

“No sooner did we get down there, when it hit the building and laid a whole metal wall on top of the doors where we went into the storm cellar,” Kramer said. “When the tornado hit, we all got a dust bath. Everyone in there got shattered with dust and debris falling out of the rafters.”

Trees were uprooted, power lines were down and debris was everywhere surrounding the restaurant Thursday night.

The tornado was part of a storm that tracked across at least five counties, according to the Weather Service.

Radar and reports from trained spotters also show the storms produced “at the very least” one other tornado in northern Illinois.

Three damage survey teams will assess the areas tomorrow to determine the exact location and magnitude of the tornadoes.

Press journalist for hromedia – Debi campillos reports.

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Category: Environment, International

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