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1 Dead After Severe Storms, Tornadoes Rip Through North Central Illinois

By Lisa White in News on Mar 1, 2017 4:25PM

At least one person is dead after a line of severe weather produced tornadoes, large hail and widespread damage across the north central Illinois region.

The National Weather Service reported that the Ottawa Fire Department confirmed one fatality from a tornado that passed through the town at about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said the person was killed by an uprooted tree, according to the Associated Press.

The NWS said at least one tornado caused damage to the central LaSalle County town and also affected nearby Naplate, but stated that there might have been multiple tornadoes in the area during the string of severe weather Tuesday. Ottawa also saw large baseball size hail associated with the same storm, the agency confirmed.

According to a news release from St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa, at least 14 people were injured during the storm, the Chicago Tribune reported. People were treated at the hospital for a variety of injuries sustained during the storm, from falling tree limbs and injuries received by people attempting to get home, the Tribune said.

According to the NWS Chicago, prior to yesterday there had only been one documented tornado in northern Illinois during February since 1950.

Yesterday also marked the first time in all 146 years of Chicago weather record-keeping that the city went the entire months of January and February with no measurable snow on the ground.

The storms left much of the region without power Wednesday morning. Ameren reported at least 125 poles down in Carbondale and Ottawa, and that over 750 workers were attempting to restore power and gain access to areas with damaged equipment.

Heavy storms across the entire Midwest region lead to 22 unconfirmed tornadoes being reported across four state, according to NWS, including sightings in southern Illinois, southeast Missouri and southeast Indiana.

Rural LaSalle County Illinois Tornado from Greg Belt on Vimeo.