Illinois Weather Trivia for May 26th

5/26/1859
Severe weather in central Illinois produced several tornadoes during the late afternoon and early evening. The worst tornado touched down in Scott County near Manchester, then moved eastward, passing about 10 miles south of Jacksonville. The tornado was described by eyewitnesses as being balloon-shaped. 35 homes and many outbuildings were destroyed. 11 people died, and 50 were injured along the 12 mile path.
5/26/1917
A major tornadic thunderstorm took a 293 mile track across central parts of Illinois and Indiana. Once believed to be a single tornado, later study indicated it was likely at least 8 separate tornadoes. The first touchdown was about 20 miles southeast of Quincy. The tornadic storm tracked due east, before beginning a northeast curve near Charleston; separate tornadic storms then curved southeast from Charleston. The towns of Mattoon and Charleston bore the brunt of the tornado. Damage from this severe tornado in Mattoon was about 2.5 blocks wide and 2.5 miles long, with over 700 houses destroyed, while the Charleston portion was 600 yards wide and 1.5 miles long, with 220 homes damaged. Damage in the two towns amounted to about $2 million, in 1917 dollars. 53 people were killed in Mattoon, and 38 were killed in Charleston. Overall, 101 people in Illinois were killed during the tornado outbreak, with 638 injured.

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  • Page last modified: 13-Sep-2010 5:47 PM UTC