TAYLORVILLE (Heartland Newsfeed) — Portions of western and central Illinois faced a barrage of tornadic activity Saturday night, following a warm, unusual day to kick off December.
Tornadoes that hit the region were as far north as Macomb in McDonough County to as far south as Staunton in Macoupin County.
One series of tornadoes in south central Illinois incredibly hard, the first of which touched down near Butler and would touch down four more times in Taylorville, Stonington, near Boody and near Maroa.
Mike Crews, director of the Christian County Emergency Management Agency, stated Saturday evening that Taylorville was hit considerably hard.
Taylorville Fire Department and emergency services are working throughout the night to clear large debris in the area to reach people trapped inside their homes.
Multiple calls for help have been received from the public for aid and assistance.
Crews additionally noted that there are downed power lines and high wind damage which may be hampering rescue efforts.
As of press time, over 100 homes are damaged and a minimum of 25 individuals have been admitted to Taylorville Memorial Hospital for storm-related injuries, but no deaths have been reported.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued a state of emergency, activating the State Emergency Operations Center.
“We activated the State Emergency Operations Center so that we could closely monitor the situation, keep in contact with local officials and quickly mobilize any state assets that may be needed,” Rauner said in a brief statement. “If state assistance is need, we are well-positioned to provide it quickly and efficiently.”
Area officials gave a press briefing late Saturday night to give a general idea as to what is being done and to present an update.
Crossroads Church has set up an emergency shelter for anyone who has been displaced due to storm damage. The church is located at 212 Jaycee Drive.
The American Red Cross has set up a unification hotline for those looking for their family members. That number is toll free (844) 319-6560. Those wishing to volunteer can reach their volunteer hotline (309) 349-0387.
Area ambulance services have been called to assist with all overwhelming calls, with mutual aid being called out to assist all emergency services personnel.
A report from Ameren Illinois stated that nearly 1,300 customers in Taylorville and 2,500 total in Christian County who are without power.
The Taylorville Food Pantry announced they will be open Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to distribute food to those in need. They are located at 1429 E. Main Cross.
We will present updates as more information unfolds.
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