Illinois Weather Trivia for April 21st
- Northern Illinois was struck by 17 tornadoes, including several in the Chicago metropolitan area. One violent tornado moved through Belvidere (east of Rockford), killing 24 people and injuring another 450, including 13 deaths at the local high school. Damage to Belvidere totaled about $20 million, including destruction of 400 cars at the local Chrysler plant. A marriage certificate from Belvidere was later found south of Milwaukee. A school bus south of Harvard was ripped in half, as driver and students hid in a ditch. A second violent tornado touched down in Elgin and moved northeast to Lake Zurich, causing $10 million damage. A third violent tornado touched down near Palos Hills and moved across the south side of Chicago to Lake Michigan. This tornado struck during Friday rush hour, and many of the 33 deaths and 500 injuries occurred in vehicles stopped at traffic lights. Over $50 million damage was reported from the tornado outbreak.
- A tornado moved across Wayne County, in southeast Illinois. The tornado passed through the southern part of Fairfield with F3 intensity winds. One person was killed in a mobile home west of Wayne City. 42 people were injured, 13 critically. A total of 35 homes were destroyed, and 16 received major damage. The average wind speed in the tornado was 130 to 170 mph, with peak winds at or approaching 200 mph.
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