Forecasters: Illinois Twister Had Winds of Up to 190 mph

November 19, 2013

National Weather Service said a tornado that struck the central Illinois community of Washington had winds between 170 and 190 miles per hour.

The meteorologists said that the storm had a preliminary rating of an EF-4.

The Tazewell County storm killed one person and injured dozens of others during Sunday’s severe weather.

Meanwhile, a tornado that touched down in southern Illinois near New Minden, about 45 miles southeast of St. Louis, also had a preliminary rating of an EF-4. A northern Illinois tornado near Coal City had wind gusts between 111 and 135 miles per hour, making it an EF-2.

National Weather Service survey crews headed out Monday to review damage near Peoria as well as Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven Illinois counties as disaster areas after the massive storms packing funnel clouds ripped through the state.

The declaration area covers Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties.

The Nov. 17 storms killed at least six people and injured dozens of others, while damaging and destroying hundreds of businesses and cutting power to tens of thousands of residents.

The disaster designation is aimed at making it easier for state resources to help hard-hit communities.

Quinn’s office said technical rescue teams have been dispatched across Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) announced it has set up a counseling center in Washington, Ill., to offer free one-on-one counseling services to assist residents with tornado.

Beginning today, DOI staff will help individuals with the insurance claims process by providing information on how to properly document storm damage, whether to make temporary repairs, what a consumer’s homeowner policy covers, and what to expect during the claims process.

The counseling center is in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, 1980 Freedom Parkway, Washington, Ill.

DOI staff will offer free counseling daily until otherwise advised. After Nov. 19, counseling will be offered from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. If available, consumers should bring an inventory of contents, policy information, and all documentation they have received from company adjusters or public adjusters, the DOI said.

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