Warm December Weather Breeds a String of Strong Tornadoes In Towns Across Illinois

Downtown Taylorville Photo Courtesy of WAND-TV

Taylorville, Illinois – While December 1, brought a welcome break from the recent cold, with temperatures in Central Illinois rising into the low 60s, the morning warmth was followed by a cold wave, and the collision of these two weather fronts created a long string of tornadoes that struck across the Central and Western parts of Ilinois on Saturday. As many as 22 tornadoes were reported to have formed in Central and Northwestern Illinois.

Tornadoes were first reported around 3 pm Saturday, along Highway 55 in Litchfield, moving in a Northeasterly direction. Just after 5 pm, as darkness set in, a tornado, which the National Weather Service called “potentially catastrophic” delivered a direct hit on Taylorville, Illinois — located in Christen County, just Southeast of Springfield.

Fortunately, due to the warnings the storm was headed their way, no one was killed in Taylorville, although there are reports of widespread damage, with 30 reported injured.

Reports say there is extensive damage throughout the town — much of which could not be determined fully until Sunday morning.  Emergency shelters were set up by city officials, and food and needed personal items were being donated Sunday morning in a collection site, for those who found themselves homeless.

Tornadoes and storm damage also hit Western Illinois as strong cells moved in a northeastern pattern across the western portions of the state from Beardstown towards Galesburg.

Beardstown water treatment plant damaged after strong storm cells rolled through the area. (Credit: Leslie Harris)

Beardstown, Ilinois was one of those where buildings were heavily damaged and the city’s water treatment plant was hit hard.