Damage assessments are underway in several central Illinois communities after a powerful storm system dropped tornadoes in several counties Saturday evening. Taylorville, located southeast of Springfield in Christian County, was apparently the hardest hit area. Dozens of homes were heavily damaged according to Mayor Bruce Barry.
Barry says it could have been worse, but local officials cancelled St. Nick’s Annual Christmas Parade in the nick of time….
At least 30 people were hospitalized at one point and at least a dozen people were trapped in their home. At least three Taylorville area residents were reported to have suffered serious injuries. Illinois State Police say that all non-resident traffic should avoid the town of Taylorville due to storm damage and closed roads. The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter in Taylorville. The Red Cross shelter will remain open as long as needed. Leaders are warning of contractors who may be in town attempting to take advantage of locals who are in need of help.
There were no reports of damage in Vermilion County due to the storms.