PONTIAC, Ill. – Governor Rauner toured the tornado damage in Pontiac Friday morning.
An EF-2 tornado tore across the west side of the city Wednesday evening.
The tornado damaged a gas station in the city. The Mayor of Pontiac says no one was inside the part of the building that was destroyed. However, about 35 people that had driven off the interstate for safety were huddled inside the store next door. “When you think about what could have happened we are very blessed,” said Pontiac Mayor Robert Russell.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to a woman who has a broken hip,” said Governor Bruce Rauner, “she and her children were in her mobile home. Their mobile home was destroyed completely. It’s a miracle that she only just had a broken hip and her children are okay with no significant injuries. We have another broken arm, some cuts and bruises. The very fortunate thing is no life-threatening injuries, no fatalities.”
Crews are already working to cleanup the damage in Pontiac.
“What makes Illinois great is our sense of community. The way people come together to help each other in times of need, the people here in Pontiac are doing that, up in Seneca as well,” said Governor Rauner.
A tornado in Seneca was also recorded as an EF-2.
In total, the National Weather Service has confirmed nine tornadoes across north central and northeast Illinois on Wednesday.
The tornadoes determined so far are:
Marseilles to Seneca: EF-2
Cissna Park: EF-1
West Brooklyn: EF-1
Troy Grove: EF-1
Ottawa 5 NW: EF-1
The information comes from ground survey crews. The National Weather Service is now pairing that information with aerial photography and satellite imagery. It is possible the total number of tornadoes could increase.