Tornadoes Tear Through Midwest Towns

Associated Press

Tornadoes tore through several Illinois and Indiana towns Saturday, causing numerous injuries and destroying a quarter of the homes and commercial buildings in this town, officials said.

There were “probably about 20" people treated at Wabash General Hospital in nearby Mt. Carmel, said June Lofton, a spokeswoman there.

“We’re talking about people who were buried under buildings . . . major injuries,” she said. “There’s a lot of damage, but I can’t tell you exact numbers.”

Mayor Jack Loeffler estimated that six to eight people had been temporarily trapped “in rubble, but I think they’ve all been rescued.”


Door-to-Door Search

Loeffler said all but four or five people had been accounted for by mid-evening in the town of 600, and that emergency workers were searching door-to-door to make sure no one remained trapped. Allendale is 3 miles from the Indiana border, about 130 miles east of St. Louis.

“There were numerous injuries, but as far as we know, no fatalities,” said Trooper Harry Sutton of the Illinois State Police.

About a quarter of the town’s 275 homes and commercial buildings were demolished and at least half of the houses received some damage, the mayor said.

Minutes before the tornado stuck Allendale, twisters hit nearby Mill Shoals and Albion, officials said. A tornado later struck an area south of Vincennes, Ind., but Allendale appeared to have been hit the worst, they said.

Thunderstorms moved into Missouri, Indiana and Illinois, producing hail near Carbondale, Ill., and near Washington, Ind., the National Weather Service reported.

Elsewhere, a major winter snowstorm battered the upper plains on Saturday, blanketing North Dakota and Minnesota with 20 inches or more of snow and bringing biting winds that plunged wind-chill factors--the way cold feels to the skin--to 50 degrees below zero.

Officials said 23.1 inches of snow fell in Fargo, N.D., between Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, breaking a 1927 record of 20.5 inches for a single storm. Grand Forks received 22 inches, while Jamestown and Minot both recorded 19 inches.

Blowing and drifting snow created near-blizzard conditions and made travel nearly impossible across much of North Dakota, northwest Minnesota and portions of South Dakota.

The weather service office in Bismarck, N.D., said Moorhead, Minn., had received 19 inches of snow late Friday and Saturday. Most businesses there and in Fargo were forced to remain closed Saturday.