Harrisburg, Illinois Hit By EF-4 Tornado (2/29/2012; UPDATED 3/7/2012)


This is a report from the NWS office in Paducah, Kentucky concerning the Harrisburg, Illinois tornado that struck the morning of February 29th, 2012.

…HARRISBURG & RIDGWAY TORNADO UPDATE…

THE FOLLOWING IS THE EXPECTED FINAL NWS DAMAGE ASSESSMENT FOR THE FEBRUARY 29 HARRISBURG ILLINOIS TORNADO.

* EVENT DATE – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 29 2012

* EVENT TIME – 451 AM CST AT CARRIER MILLS…TO 456 AM CST AT HARRISBURG TO 510 AM CST AT RIDGWAY.

* EVENT TYPE – EF4 TORNADO

* FATALITIES – 6 CONFIRMED

* INJURIES – APPROXIMATELY 100-110

* PEAK WIND – ESTIMATED 180 MPH (ADJUSTED UPWARD FROM INITIAL ESTIMATE OF 170 MPH (STRIP MALL DAMAGE). 180 MPH PEAK BASED ON NUMEROUS LEVELED AND DISPLACED HOMES.)

* AVERAGE PATH WIDTH – 275 YARDS (UPDATED FROM EARLIER 250 YARD AVERAGE WIDTH)

* TRACK LENGTH – 26.5 MILES FROM 1 MILE NORTH OF CARRIER MILLS ILLINOIS TO 4 MILES NORTHEAST OF RIDGWAY ILLINOIS. (UPDATED FOR EASTERN EXTENT OF PATH)

* DISCUSSION/DAMAGE – IN HARRISBURG…OVER 200 HOMES AND ABOUT 25 BUSINESSES WERE DESTROYED OR HEAVILY DAMAGED…INCLUDING A STRIP MALL DESTROYED ON THE EAST SIDE OF HWY 45. AT LEAST 10 HOMES OR OTHER BUILDINGS WERE LEVELED…WITH SEVERAL HOME STRUCTURES DISPLACED FROM THEIR FOUNDATIONS. HUNDREDS OF LARGE TREES SNAPPED OR UPROOTED ALONG WITH MANY POWER LINES DOWN. IN RIDGWAY…THE TORNADO DAMAGED ABOUT 140 HOMES AND BUSINESSES CAUSING 1 CRITICAL INJURY AND ABOUT A DOZEN RELATIVELY MINOR INJURIES. NUMEROUS CARS WERE TOSSED AROUND…MAINLY ON THE EAST SIDE RIDGWAY. A LARGE CHURCH BUILDING WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. A HALF DOZEN GRAIN BINS WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED.

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