The National Weather Service's damage survey teams have confirmed seven tornadoes touched down in the Stateline during the April 9 severe weather outbreak.
The first confirmed was the massive EF-4 tornado, which started 1 mile north of Franklin Grove and ended 4 miles northwest of Kirkland, and affected areas near Rochelle, in Ashton, and in Fairdale. The NWS estimates winds reached speeds between 180 mph and 200 mph. The tornado was a half mile wide at some points, and traveled nearly 30 miles before disappearing.
A weak EF-0 tornado with winds up to 65 mph has been confirmed near Lindenwood, or near I-39 southwest of Kirkland. The tornado was around 100 yards in width, and traveled nearly 2 miles. The NWS believes this may have been a satellite tornado associated with the EF-4 tornado.
A third confirmed tornado was an EF-1 that formed 6 miles southeast of Belvidere, with wind speeds between 105-110 mph. The tornado was 50 yards in width and traveled 4 miles. This tornado that hit Belvidere's Summerfield Zoo, killing two animals and causing significant damage to structures at the zoo. The tornado also crossed Genoa Road and snapped apart 3 power poles.
The fourth confirmed tornado formed 3 miles south of Cherry Valley, and traveled for nearly 3 miles, causing little to no damage. The tornado has been rated as an EF-0, with winds up to 65 mph. Trained spotters identified this one touching down during the storm.
A fifth confirmed EF-1 tornado announced on Monday formed 3 miles northwest of Kirkland and traveled 4 miles into far southern Boone County. This tornado was spawned by the same storm that produced the long track EF-4 shortly after that tornado lifted. Winds were estimated to be around 110 mph. The width of the tornado was around 100 yards.
The sixth tornado was confirmed southeast of Harvard. The EF-1 tornado, with winds up to 90 mph, touched down for one minute and damaged several trees while traveling a third of a mile.
A seventh tornado touched down near Belvidere, created from the same storm that spawned the EF-4 tornado. This tornado spun up after the EF-4 lifted and disappeared. This tornado has been rated as an EF-0, with winds up to 85 mph. The tornado was on the ground for only a minute, traveling nearly a half mile.
Eleven total tornadoes touched down in Illinois during the April 9 outbreak. Two hit in northwest Illinois near Iowa, while two others touched down in central Illinois, including one near Peoria.
The National Weather Service will continue to provide updates during their investigation on these tornadoes. Aerial and ground surveys may identify additional tornadoes. WREX will pass this information along as it comes in.