The National Weather Service received reports of 22 tornadoes, all in central IL on Saturday, while offices in Lincoln, Ill., and St. Louis, began to conduct storm surveys on Sunday to confirm their track and intensity.
Multiple tornadoes were reported on Saturday night across central IL, injuring at least 30 people in the small town of Taylorville, which has a population of just 11,200 residents.
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.
About 10 minutes later, a second weaker tornado was confirmed less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) away near the town of Rudy, Arkansas. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
"This is the biggest December outbreak in IL since 1957", he said.
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Among the hardest hit areas appears to be Taylorville, a small town that sits about 25 miles South and East of Springfield. Damage surveys for the two tornadoes are ongoing but officials said dozens of homes were damaged. A survey showed that storm produced estimated peak winds of 155 mph (249 kilometres per hour). Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and some structures. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives.
Central Illinois is coping with damages and injuries after a blitz of tornadoes Saturday, when 22 twisters were reported to the National Weather Service.
IL residents are still recovering Saturday morning after multiple tornadoes touched down in the central part of the state. He said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own. 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.
The National Weather Service says at least 23 tornadoes touched down Saturday in IL, making the outbreak the state's largest on record for December.
"It was one of those storms that just blew up", Christian County sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp told reporters on Saturday.