Four Suspected Tornadoes Hit Central Illinois
The National Weather Service says four possible tornadoes touched down in central Illinois, causing minor damage.
Officials with the agency's office in Lincoln say they're reviewing preliminary reports of four twisters that struck Thursday afternoon.
The tornadoes were reported near the Cass County town of Arenzville, about 50 miles west of Springfield; east of Mechanicsburg in Sangamon County; near Pana in Christian County; and west of Shumway in Effingham County.
The storms reportedly destroyed several outbuildings and snapped utility poles. No injuries were reported.
Meteorologist James Auten says the number of tornadoes could change as scientists review data and storm reports. Surveyors are expected to head to Mechanicsburg and Pana on Friday to review damage firsthand.
UPDATE 4:35 PM Illinois State Police District 10 officials are advising that I-57, I-72, and I-74 are nearly impassable. All other roads are drifting closed. Near white out conditions. Blowing and drifting snow is blocking the roadways. Emergency travel only. US Route 150 is closed between St Joseph and Urbana due to a crash. State Police have implemented their NO TOW policy. They say visibility is extremely poor and it is not safe to tow. Motorists are being transported to a place of safety to the nearest exit.
Reminders from Champaign County and Macon County Authorities: Champaign County Highways and Township roads will not be plowed after dusk. Macon County Highways and Township roads are closed until further notice.
UPDATE: 4:07PM -- Illinois State Police are on the scene of a traffic crash involving two jackknife truck tractor/semi trailers on I-57 at milepost 192 blocking both northbound lanes. Traffic will be stopped northbound until the semis are removed.
Illinois State Police report that eastbound I-74 has been closed at milepost 185, near the University Avenue Exit.