CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — People across several counties in central Illinois are clearing debris after a strong storm swept through Tuesday afternoon.
The severe weather made its way east from Springfield, through Decatur, into Champaign and Vermilion counties. It brought some heavy damage with it.
Darkness filled the sky as rain and straight line winds ripped through Champaign. Trees were knocked down onto power lines, causing power outages, and parts of homes were ripped off.
The storm passed by Mike Waller’s house at Staley and Kirby. He says, “I was just sitting watching TV and I just heard a boom, like a car wreck out on the street corner.” He says its strength was tangible. “I heard the house just heave a little bit. When I heard the bang, it was like the house expanded and just took a little breath.”
Shortly after it came through, the outdoor warning sirens went off. Waller says, “I heard the sirens. They’re right here just about a half mile down the road.”
Champaign County was never under a tornado watch or warning on Tuesday. But a Champaign police officer spotted the funnel cloud and told emergency management to sound the alarm as a safety caution. The sirens caused the University of Illinois to falsely send out an alert that there was a tornado warning. Nobody was reported hurt from the storm.
Further down Kirby Avenue, the strong wind knocked down a large tree and a power line that used to stand in front of Gabriela Rosas’ house. She says, “I was at work and somebody text me saying a tree fell down at your house. I thought oh my gosh no!”
It toppled over into neighbor’s yard just a few feet away from their homes.
Rosas says, “We’re lucky. The neighbor’s house is ok and our house is ok.”
There were numerous reports of 60 mph winds all the way from capitol airport in Springfield to Arcola and further east into Vermilion County.