Multiple Tornado Warnings Again In Southern Illinois
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UPDATED 03/02/12 1:41 p.m.
HARRISBURG, Ill. (CBS) — Just two days after a tornado killed six people and destroyed dozens of buildings in Southern Illinois, multiple tornado warnings have been issued for the area again.
As of around noon Friday, a tornado warning was in effect for southwest Hamilton and Franklin counties in south central Illinois, and northeastern Williamson and northwestern Saline counties in far Southern Illinois.
The tornadoes were moving out of Illinois by the 1 p.m. hour, although warnings were still in effect for parts of far downstate Lawrence, Gallatin and Hardin counties.
But Indiana was at high risk, with tornado warnings in Crawford and Orange counties in the southern part of the state.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports that sirens were sounded briefly in the Harrisburg area. Police and volunteers were stationed at a Harrisburg hospital to assist residents in case of severe weather.
A dangerous storm with rotation that could produce a funnel cloud was moving east at 55 mph from Johnston City as of just before noon. There were multiple reports of funnel clouds spotted as the storm passed over Interstate 57 just east of Herrin, the National Weather Service said.
A funnel cloud was also reported bouncing up and down near the town of Thompsonville.
All the locations where the funnel clouds have been sighted are a short distance from the town of Harrisburg, in Saline County, where six people died in a tornadic storm early Wednesday morning.
Other areas are under a tornado watch until 6 p.m. The storm could produce golfball-sized hailstones, and there are concerns about debris from the last storm getting caught in the wind.
“There’s just too many people into our area to safely protect, so we’re asking them to come out for the weekend when we should have better weather,” Felty said.
Gov. Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency for Southern Illinois following the storm Wednesday.
That storm produced an EF4 tornado, according to the National Weather Service. CBS affiliate KFVS reported the peak wind during the storm clocked in at 180 mph.
The strongest category of tornado is an EF5.
The Saline County Sheriff’s office says in addition to the six people who died, about 100 people were injured in and around Harrisburg during the Wednesday storm. At least 300 houses and 25 businesses were damaged or destroyed.