NWS surveys tornado damage north of Chester, Ill.
CHESTER, Ill. (KFVS/CBS/KMOV) - The National Weather Service teams continue to survey damage in the Chester area and said the rating for this tornado could increase.
According to the National Weather Service preliminary report, it upgraded a tornado that moved through St. Mary, Mo. to Chester, Ill. to an EF2.
On Sunday night the NWS confirmed a tornado did touch down and a Tornado Emergency was issued.
Residents have no doubt that a tornado hit the Mississippi River town.
Large tree limbs and the tops of trees were sheered off by the strong winds.
The storm also destroyed an iconic red barn located off of Route 3. The barn was once part of a dairy farm and remained a marker for drivers heading into town.
The 95-year old owner of the barn was in bed in his home next door. The strong winds blew down tree limbs around his house but he wasn’t hurt.
“Oh it was a tornado,” said one Chester resident. “No question in my mind that it was a tornado. Because the swirling, the stuff flying in the air, the trees moving in every direction. When I looked over I thought Oh my goodness. I was on the edge of it and it passed right next to me.”
According to Chester Fire Chief Marty Bert, the roof collapsed at a long term care facility located on Three Springs Road. There was also a gas leak, but no fire. The facility reports their residents are safe.
So far, there have not been any reports of injuries in Chester, but Route 150 at Bremen was closed to traffic overnight and throughout Monday morning. Drivers were warned not to drive around barricades and to use Shawneetown Trail and Wine Hill road to bypass Bremen.
According to Chester Emergency Management, the damage assessment process would start Monday morning and teams will be out with information on the storm recovery process.
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