BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) – The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Boone and McHenry Counties on Wednesday evening.
The tornado touched down just outside Capron, moving a total distance of over ten miles, causing extensive damage to trees, power lines, and structures. No injuries have been reported.
"This was an EF1 tornado on the enhanced Fujita scale based on damage that we saw. Wind speeds around 90-95miles per hour. It touched down just south of Poplar Grove, crossed through Capron where a few structures were damaged, lots of trees damaged, and continued to Harvard before it dissipated,” says Matt Friedlein with the National Weather Service.
National Weather Service crews are continuing to survey damaged areas in Lee County.
Earlier on in the evening, significant damage was reported in the Rockton, Roscoe, and South Beloit areas. That however was caused by straight line winds, not a tornado, according to the National Weather Service.
A homeowner on Doris Drive in Rockton says her family rushed downstairs when they saw the storm getting worse and when they came back upstairs, they realized a tree was leaning on their home.
“We never heard any loud noises or anything, but we had trees come down and it happened very, very fast,” says Linda Gilbert of Rockton.
In addition to the damage, the storm also left thousands without power. At one point, 4,000 area homes were still without power and around noon that number was down to about 2,500.
As of 5:00 p.m. Thursday, the highest outage is southeast of Rockford with 139 people still without power. In Janesville, another 100 people are without power.
There were several portions of roadways in Winnebago County that had to be blocked due to downed power lines. We’re told those are mostly cleared up.