Many are calling it a “Wizard of Oz” style tornado that struck rural Ashton Illinois yesterday.
Today, some incredible video footage of the devastating tornado that left entire towns flattened has emerged.
The tornado hit towns in Illinois, near Chicago around the early evening.
The Washington Post today reports (source):
Thursday’s round of severe weather spawned at least two tornadoes in northern Illinois, one of which was a massive, long-lived funnel that plowed through towns west of Chicago around 7 p.m.
The towns of Rochelle, Kirkland, and Fairdale, Ill., were severely damaged on Thursday evening as at least one large tornado rolled through. Fairdale seems to sustained the most widespread damage, where several people were injured and one 67-year-old woman was killed. The Chicago Tribune reports that every home in that town was impacted by the storm, “with some crushed down to their foundation and others left standing with no damage except broken windows.”
Dozens of storm chasing teams were tracking the storms on Thursday evening, and many were able to capture incredible video of the tornado’s birth and intensification as it ripped through interstates and small rural towns.
“Based on reports from trained storm spotters and chasers as well as radar and environmental evidence, there were at the very least two tornadoes, but likely more across North Central Illinois on April 9th,” writes the National Weather Service in Chicago. “At least two long-lived supercell thunderstorms produced these tornadoes, or family of tornadoes, across North Central Illinois.”
The Weather Service office in Chicago has sent out three teams to survey the damage path and determine how strong the tornadoes were on the enhanced Fujita scale. Based on photos and video, it appears that the long-lived Rochelle/Fairdale tornado was about a half mile wide.
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