Flooding and tornadoes leave damage following Friday storms

While heavy rainstorms and flooding marked most of the region Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service has now confirmed multiple tornadoes ripped through southern Illinois, with one being confirmed just southeast of Salem.
With only a flood warning issued for Friday afternoon, an EF-1 tornado with peak winds estimated at 105 miles an hour left a path of damage 1.7 miles long and 50 yards wide destroying one barn and damaging another on Briarcroft Road just six miles southeast of Salem Friday afternoon.
High winds from the storm are being blamed for injuries to a construction worker at the new Subway restaurant being built on North Poplar Street in Centralia, when trusses were blown over, knocking the worker off scaffolding.
The most damaging tornado has been confirmed two miles south of West Frankfort where a two-story house suffered significant damage, losing most of its roof and the front porch. That tornado had an estimated peak wind speed of 110 miles an hour and left a debris path three-quarters of a mile long.
Yet another tornado was confirmed just east of Murphysboro. It carried a pontoon boat approximately 200 yards, flipped over another and tore rafters from a commercial building, carrying them over 300 yards.
Two other confirmed tornadoes left damaged trees and crops. One developed in Hamilton County, just east of Macedonia, with an estimated peak wind speed of 75 miles an hour, while another was confirmed just southeast of Goreville with an estimated peak wind speed of 90 miles an hour.
Another tornado left a debris path of 4 1/2 miles long just west of Norris City. It had an estimated peak wind speed of 85 miles an hour and damaged crops, as well as a small shed and a fence.
Finally, a tornado briefly touched down near a Wal-mart store in Olney, while another touched down four miles away, damaging trees at a mobile home park and golf course. Still another touched down seven miles east of Lawrenceville, damaging more trees and a campler.
Rainfall from Friday’s storm was recorded at 2.19 inches at the Centralia Water Plant and 2.72 inches at the Salem Water Plant. Several roads were flooded and power lines down because of the storm, including lines here at the radio station in Centralia.
Roads leading to the Clay County Hospital in Flora, along with the hospital’s drive were flooded Friday night, resulting in hospital staff setting up an plan to get patients emergency care without placing them in danger of flood waters. Clay and Fayette counties remain under a flood warning as the Kaskaskia and Little Wabash rivers remain bloated.
Flooding in southwestern Illinois resulted in the evacuation of about 40 people in the city of Centreville Friday afternoon. KSDK-TV reports that emergency personnel went door to door Friday afternoon. A few residents refused to leave despite flood waters that reached 4 feet in places.
There was also flooding Friday in eastern Illinois, where the state’s department of transportation had to close a section of U.S. Highway 45.