Taylorville IL got 41-minute warning of December tornado

Franklin County EMA assisting Central Illinois with tornado recovery efforts

Surprise Tornado Blitz Strikes Central Illinois, Injuring at Least 30

Officials say all Taylorville Public Schools will be closed on Monday due to storm damage and for the safety of students and staff.

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, about 110 miles (178 kilometers) from Little Rock. Around 20 people were injured, but there were no deaths. If most are confirmed as tornadoes, Miller said that would be the most tornadoes in IL in a December storm since Dec. 18-19, 1957, when there were 21.

The twisters occurred Saturday evening along the Illinois River and near Springfield, Meteorologist Chris Geelhart said.

The National Weather Service received 22 reports of tornadoes in the state, and offices in Lincoln, Ill. and St. Louis, Mo. have sent out survey teams to affected areas to determine a count on how many tornadoes broke out across the state. Trees, power lines, and buildings were destroyed. Tornadoes were also reported in Arkansas and Oklahoma. One person was killed in Missouri.

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

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Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield. The owner says that about 200 cars were damaged in both of the garages and shed.

At least three people are being treated for major injuries at Memorial Hospital in Springfield and 18 more suffered minor injuries, Rauner said. Most were released within hours.

"It was one of those storms that just blew up", Christian County sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp told reporters on Saturday.

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

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