Severe Weather Strikes Illinois

Severe Weather Strikes Illinois
By: Carly O'Keefe
RALEIGH, IL --In Southern Illinois Tuesday’s storms produced high winds and heavy rain. In Saline County there were reports of a tornado.
"It was 3:10 and I saw a black funnel cloud coming across the field and I decided it was time to go to the basement,” said Saline County resident Lavern Mitchell.
Mitchell lives just west of Raleigh, IL. From a small window in her basement she said she could see the storm pass over her house and tear apart her farm.

"I saw the greenhouse go and I knew it was bad," Mitchell said.

One of her barns was flattened by the storm, another barn was nearly destroyed. There was only minor cosmetic damage to her home, but a tall pine tree that she planted in 1966 was uprooted in the front lawn.

"I'm okay that's the main thing,” Mitchell said.

Authorities in Saline County were tracking the storm from the point it entered the county.

"We were able to track the funnel cloud into Saline County, over Harco Road and further east to Galatin and into the Raleigh area where it did some damage," said Deputy Jeff Oestreich.

In downtown Raleigh, the Cornerstone Worship Center received extensive damage to the east corner of its roof. Saline County deputies say damage wasn’t widespread through the county, and what damage was done is fixable.  

"We were extremely lucky. We're grateful for the early warnings… we were able to set up watch and give people ample warning as the storm was coming through," Oestreich said.