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State Conducting Tornado Drill Today

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Tornado sirens will sound all across Illinois on Tuesday, as part of a statewide drill taking place in all 102 counties.

WBBM Newsradio’s Terry Keshner reports March is Severe Weather Preparedness Month, and the state is conducting an emergency drill at 10 a.m.

“We encourage people in their homes, businesses, at schools to participate,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson. “That’s a good time to practice those plans of knowing where to go during a tornado.”

The National Weather Service also will send a tornado warning to local TV and radio stations as a test of the Emergency Alert System, as well as to those who have NOAA weather alert radios.

State officials said 54 tornados were reported in Illinois last year, causing eight deaths and approximately 200 injuries. More than 2,000 homes were destroyed by twisters.

About half of last year’s tornados touched down on Nov. 17, when a major storm system blew through the state, devastating the small town of Washington, Ill., where approximately 1,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

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