Illinois Weather Trivia for May 18th
- The 5th deadliest tornado outbreak on record in Illinois affected northern and central parts of the state. At least 14 strong to violent tornadoes touched down, and 52 people were killed by these storms. The largest death toll from a single tornado was 12, with 50 injuries, from an F4 tornado which moved from near Jacksonville to 5 miles west of Petersburg. This tornado completely destroyed the town of Literberry. Another tornado, which peaked at F4 intensity, killed 11 people and injured 50 along its path from the south edge of Springfield northeast to near Kenney, in De Witt County. This particular tornado reportedly drove 10 inch by 12 inch oak timbers 10 feet into the ground. An F4 tornado in far northern Illinois touched down near Capron, and tracked for 17 miles before lifting in far southern Wisconsin. Three people were killed near Alden. Other strong to violent tornadoes affected areas around Grafton, Mt. Olive, Shipman, Mason City, Hillsboro, and Pesotum.
- A series of thunderstorms formed and moved over a two county area of east central Illinois, over a 2.5 hour period. Over $4 million worth of damage was reported. The most intense damage was reported in the Jamaica and Georgetown (Vermilion County) areas. Georgetown was hit twice within an hour's time by baseball sized hail. A greenhouse sustained major damage. Thousands of cars sustained major hail damage. Also, hundreds of homes and businesses had windows broken out, and siding damaged. In Jamaica, the high school sustained around $300,000 damage to its facilities. In Pesotum (Champaign County), eleven Illinois State Patrol cars sustained hail damage, totaling $24,000. No injuries were reported. Further north, severe thunderstorms in the Chicago metropolitan area blew down over 1,000 trees in Highland Park, and produced a wind gust of 84 mph at Wheeling. A man in Wilmette was killed when a tree fell on his car.
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