December 2 – Christmas lights have been replaced by emergency lights in the central Illinois town of Taylorville after a suspected out of season tornado pounced on the town of 11-thousand Saturday night. Hundreds of structures were damaged and 30 people have been hospitalized with storm related injuries, some of them serious.
Authorities are also dealing with the aftermath of mother nature and human nature. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp says some opportunists added insult to injury.
“We had some reports of looting, we do have squad cars out there, we have some roads blocked off, we’re checking their driver’s license, they have to have a reason why they need to go through there.”
Taylorville native Congressman Rodney Davis says the town’s stiff upper lip will get them past mother nature’s unwanted surprise.
“You can never control mother nature, and you can never control the time. Just like the few inches of snow we had early last month, these are the opportunities where you get to see communities come together and Taylorville has always come together in times of struggle like this. We’ll see the assessments Sunday and then we’ll move ahead and see what assistance the community needs.”
At least a dozen people were trapped in their homes after the powerful twister. Task forces are working to make sure no one else is trapped.
Tornado warnings were also issued for Macon County. EMA Director Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jim Root reported damage just east of Boody, with one person reportedly trapped in their basement.
Photo Credit: Robert Wolfe