A tornado struck a small, rural town called Cameron on Thursday, causing extensive damage.
A strong tornado has struck the town of Cameron on Thursday, causing a huge amount of damage but fortunately no serious injuries.
Search and rescue workers were on the scene late Thursday and into today seeking to dig through the wreckage in the small town, which is home to about 600 people and sits about 200 miles to the southwest of Chicago, according to an Associated Press report. All people are banned from the town except for first responders.
There were power lines down and gas leaks, the Illinois State Police noted in a statement released to the public.
The tornado was first reported at 7:30 p.m. as part of a line of thunderstorms that crossed through western Illinois and reached the suburbs of Chicago.
The report indicated that one 50-year-old resident of Cameron fled to his basement where he waited out the storm, and could hear windows breaking and the ferocious winds. He later found that a 2-by-6-inch piece of wood had lodged in the wall of his house, and every single window had been broken.
The man, named Mike Trout, said that he last remembered a tornado in the town in 1989, but this most recent tornado was much worse in terms of damage.
The storm has resulted in thousands of people being without power in the region.
The National Weather Service will be sending survey teams today to examine the damage and estimate how strong the tornado was.