At least two tornadoes ripped through north-central Illinois on Thursday evening destroying most everything in its path.
At least one person has died and 11 others injured in the small community of Fairdale where the tornado touched down around 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
Pounding storms also ripped through Rochelle, a town about 20 miles southeast of Fairdale. Authorities were preparing for an aerial sweep of the area Friday morning to complete a third search for people. So far, no one has been reported missing. Approximately 30 homes in the area have been destroyed.
In a late-night press conference, Rockford Fire Chief Matthew Knott said that every home in Fairdale had been searched twice because every single home in the town was affected by the tornado.
The National Weather Service says that at least two tornadoes cut a 50-mile wide path through north-central Illinois. One tornado ripped through Franklin Grove to north of Rochelle and Hillcrest into northwest DeKalb Country. A second tornado made its way from Rockyford Airport to Cherry Valley in Winnebago county before crossing into Boone County.
This severe storm was the region’s first of the year and cancelled more than 850 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Dozens of other flights were also cancelled at the city’s Midway International Airport.
The “enhanced risk” area determined by the National Weather Service includes northeast Texas to Michigan, Wisconsin and across the upper Midwest. Forecasters are also saying that Philadelphia, Washington and other parts of the Atlantic coast could see similar weather on Friday. This includes areas of Augusta, Georgia where the Masters golf tournament is currently taking place.