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Seven IL Counties Declared Disaster Areas after Deadly Storms

Posted by feww on November 19, 2013

“We are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state” —IL Gov. Quinn

Sunday’s deadly storms killed at least six people and injured scores of others, while damaging and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and cutting power to tens of thousands of residents.

The counties declared disaster areas are Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford, according to the Disaster Proclamation issued by Gov. Pat Quinn’s office on Monday.

“Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible,” said the governor. “As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover.”

A large swarm of storms brought destructive winds and tornadoes to Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.

Illinois took the brunt of the ferocious weather system, which spawned a total of 76 confirmed tornadoes, and 451 storm reports.

Washington (Population: 16,000), a small city in Tazewell County, about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, was the hardest hit area, with up to 500 homes damaged or destroyed, according to reports. of 16,000.

EF4 Tornadoes

Two of the deadly twisters were rated EF-4 tornadoes, reported the National Weather Service (NWS).

EF4 tornadoes pack destructive winds of between 166 and 260 mph (267 – 322kph), and can leave well-constructed houses leveled, blowing away structures with weak foundations blown away some distance;  throwing cars and generating large missiles.

F4 tornado touch down in IL 17Nov13
F4 F touch down in IL November 17, 2013.

Tacloban City, Philippines or the State of  Illinois?

IL deadly tornadoes aftermath - natalie martinez
IL deadly tornadoes aftermath – Image credit: Natalie Martinez

IL deadly storm 17nov13
Powerful tornadoes tore through large swathes of Illinois on Sunday. Image credit: @WCL_Shawn

Latest Weather Forecast

Strong winds in the Northeast and across the Great Lakes will subside today as the powerful storm system responsible for yesterday’s severe weather continues to move farther away into Canada. Meanwhile, another storm system will move into the Pacific Northwest bringing rain and mountain snow. NWS

“You don’t need temperatures in the 80s and 90s to produce severe weather [since] the strong winds compensate for for the lack of heating,”  said a forecaster at NWS. “That sets the stage for what we call wind shear, which may produce tornadoes.”

Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF scale)

EF Scale

Fujita-Pearson Tornado Scale


F-0  [39%]
40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken

F-1 [35%]
73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned

F-2 [20%]
113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted

F-3  [5%]
158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown

F-4 [0.9%]
207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled

F-5 [<0.1%]
261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Source: US gov. [Figures in brackets represent long-term relative frequencies— revised by FIRE-EARTH]

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