The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 14, 2009

Small tornado touches down briefly

DANVILLE — National Weather Services officials in Lincoln say a small tornado touched down at 12:23 a.m. Thursday in southwestern Vermilion County.

The touchdown was about ¼-mile east of the intersection of Vermilion County Roads 100E and 1050N, according to the weather service. It stayed on the ground for about 100 yards, and was about 50 yards wide.

The tornado destroyed a 30-foot by 80-foot farm machinery shed and broke several utility poles. It was on the ground for about 2 minutes, the weather service said. Its winds were estimated at 80 mph

Ted Fisher, director of the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency, said in a press release that damage assessment teams inspected the site Thursday. The information was forwarded to the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

Fisher reported a large debris field near the building as well as damage to trees and power lines. Roads in the area were closed to allow cleanup.

Ameren listed as many as 10 county residents without power early Thursday, but that number had been reduced to a single residence by early afternoon.

Damage to trees and power lines also were reported down near Georgetown and Ridge Farm.

A damage assessment team continued to investigate a report of a barn destroyed near Hoopeston.

The storms developed along a cold front that swept across the state Wednesday night and early Thursday. The county already had received 1.3 inches of rain by 6 p.m. Wednesday according to measurements by Aqua Illinois.

The wet weather will cause more delays for farmers, who already are behind in spring planting due to a wet April.

“There was a lot of corn planted Monday and Tuesday,” said Tom Fricke of the Vermilion County Farm Bureau. “But obviously that stopped Wednesday.”

Fricke said farmers can expect to see reduced yields on corn planted this late in the season, but the crop remains an option.

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