ROCHELLE, Ill. -- Officials from the National Weather Service say they suspect an EF-4 tornado hit North Central Illinois Thursday night.
Based on early findings the tornado that racked from near Rochelle to near Belvidere and impacted the community of Fairdale appears to have been a single long track tornado, meteorologists said. Preliminary assessment of survey indicates this tornado was an EF-4. An aerial survey will be conducted later today or tomorrow weather permitting to confirm a final rating.
Just In- Damage survey from the NWS: Rochelle-Fairdale-Belvidere preliminary tornado rating is an EF4. http://t.co/CYQc7qmKBb
— Mike Hamernik (@MikeHamernik) April 10, 2015
The death toll from the tornadoes climbed to two on Friday.
The latest victim is Jacqueline Klosa, 69 years-old. She was found in her home's bathtub and clutching her purse.
The body of 67-year-old Geradine Schultz was found Thursday night.
The storm sent 20 people to hospitals Thursday night, and six stayed overnight. One person remains in serious condition.
Gov. Bruce Rauner went to Rochelle to meet with survivors, thank first responders, the Red Cross, and other volunteers. He will head to Fairdale next.
He has issued a state disaster declaration.
"Frankly, we're very blessed that more people were not hurt. This was a devastating storm," said Rauner
The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes churned through six north-central Illinois counties — Boone, DeKalb, Lee, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago.
The tornado struck Fairdale around 7 p.m. Thursday, sweeping homes off their foundations and leaving streets impassable with debris and downed power lines. Officials say at least 17 structures were destroyed and about 50 damaged.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.