Tornadoes Confirmed In Arkansas Storms

Russ Noel owner of Country Classic Cars looks at one of the damaged cars Sunday Dec. 2 2018 at Country Classic Cars nea

The weather service said Sunday that a strong tornado that developed from severe thunderstorms Friday night touched down in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Miller said preliminary estimates are that the Taylorville tornado may have been an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 miles per hour. She said a tornado mainly went through the countryside, but "I know of one house that had major damage". At least 30 injuries have been reported, but no fatalities.

The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma.

The warning helped residents take cover and may have saved lives.

Hardest hit was the town of Taylorviille, southeast of Springfield, where storm winds wrecked houses, downed power lines, pulled trees up by the roots, and left an unknown number of people injured. According to data from the Tornado History Project, the last time tornadoes were reported in IL in December was in 2015 when six tornados broke out.

It remains unclear how many tornadoes blew through the region, but it won't be as many as 22, Miller said.

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Emergency officials responded to between 12 and 15 homes Saturday night to evacuate people who were trapped inside, and task forces with ambulances are working to confirm whether any more people are trapped or injured, ABC News reported. The tornado traveled at least 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast, though investigators are still determining its end location.

Another smaller tornado developed earlier in the evening near Webbers Falls which uprooted trees and damaged irrigation systems and barns. No injuries have been reported. No reports of fatalities have been recorded in IL, although one person has been killed in neighbouring Missouri as a result of the storms. One person was killed in Missouri.

Residents in central IL on Sunday assessed damage after rare December tornadoes that ripped roofs off homes, downed power lines and injured at least 20 people the day before.

The National Weather Service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in IL, which included Taylorville, 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Springfield, Springfield's State Journal-Register reported. Most were discharged within hours. Several agencies report to the operations center, including the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Department of Public Health and the American Red Cross.

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

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