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Tornadoes touch down in central IL
06 December 2018, 02:46 | Justin Tyler
Franklin County EMA assisting Central Illinois with tornado recovery efforts
The National Weather Service reportedly deployed teams on Sunday to assess the damage and measure the strength of the twisters.
Meteorologist Dan Smith with the weather service's Lincoln, Illinois, office says crews had confirmed 23 tornado touchdowns across central Illinois by Monday afternoon. He said that number may grow because crews continue surveying three other sites to determine if storm damage there was also caused by tornadoes.
IL has an average of 47 tornadoes a year, not including December, which doesn't have an average, said CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar, speaking of the rarity of Saturday's twister cluster.
No fatalities have been reported, but officials say they've taken multiple calls of people trapped in their homes due to debris and downed power lines.
Weather service meteorologist Chris Miller told The Associated Press on Sunday the agency was able to give Taylorville an advanced warning of 41 minutes that the powerful tornado was headed the community's way. A survey showed that storm produced estimated peak winds of 155 mph (249 kilometres per hour).
Hardest hit was the town of Taylorville, about 30 miles southeast of the capital of Springfield.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital reported 21 patients sustained storm-related injuries and one patient was critically injured. Most were discharged within hours. The tornado was rated an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service said Sunday that a strong tornado touched down in Van Buren, Arkansas, about 130 miles (212 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock. It was rated an EF2. He said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own.
Clean-up efforts are underway in central IL after numerous tornadoes tore through the area over the weekend. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and some structures.
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