EF-4 tornado hits northern Illinois - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

EF-4 tornado hits northern Illinois

Posted: Updated:
FAIRDALE, Ill. (WREX) - UPDATE: The National Weather Service has given the tornado that hit Rochelle, Fairdale, and Ashton Thursday night a preliminary rating of EF-4. 

The NWS stated the tornado had maximum wind speeds of 166-200 mph and was a half-mile wide. There were some points at which other tornadoes briefly touched down near the main tornado.

The NWS said additional aerial surveys are needed to give a final ruling.

Two people in Fairdale are dead after a tornado ripped through the tiny town Thursday evening. Rescue crews in Fairdale spent Friday morning digging through rubble by hand, searching for anyone else who could have been trapped.

A tornado traveled through the town of 71 homes Thursday evening, leaving 17 of them flattened to the foundation. Sixty-seven-year-old Geraldine Schultz was killed. DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said Schultz's next-door neighbor, 69-year-old Jackyn Klosa, was also killed. Klosa was found at 10:00 a.m. Friday, in her bathroom, where she normally went during severe weather. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said in a press conference Friday twenty people were injured. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency reported no sirens were sounded in Fairdale.

Fifteen fire departments responded to the scene Thursday night. Friday, three fire departments remained, as well as two technical rescue teams from Rockford and DeKalb. The crews went door-to-door for the third time, making sure no one was trapped beneath fallen structures. Kirkland Community Fire District Chief Chad Connell reported some residents were missing Friday. The technical rescue teams spent the day searching through the rubble by hand..
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office said Fairdale is closed to everyone except first responders. All power and utilities have been shut off to the area.

The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes touched down Thursday evening, ripping through Boone, DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, and Winnebago counties.

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