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Coincidence doom! Tornado Hits Downstate! A tornado at 9:11 p.m. caused significant damage in Streator

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06/06/2010 11:53 AM
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Coincidence doom! Tornado Hits Downstate! A tornado at 9:11 p.m. caused significant damage in Streator

Minor injuries have been reported as people were trapped in their homes and all emergency crews in LaSalle County were on standby Streator was hit with a tornado that caused heavy damage to parts of central Illinois Saturday night.

A tornado at 9:11 p.m. caused significant damage in Streator -- about 60 miles southwest of Joliet -- according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Stephen Rodriguez.

A LaSalle County Sheriff's deputy said everything is "a mess" as all emergency crews in the county remained on standby late Saturday. It is unclear if anyone was hurt following the tornado, which hit the south side of the city and left a number of people trapped in homes.

Phone lines were also down, Rodriguez said.

Minor injuries have been reported as of 11:45 p.m. at Saint Mary's Hospital in Streator, hospital spokesman Matt Daughenbaugh said. The extent of the injuries and the number of people hurt was unknown, although the injuries were not serious, he said.

Barns and silos were tipped over, there was damage to roofs, and there were reports of sheet metal wrapped around poles in the wake of two reported tornados hitting Streator, National Weather Service Meteorologist Bill Wilson said.

St. Anne in Kankakee County also had two tornadoes reported on the ground with at least one house completely destroyed, Wilson said.

Kankakee City Mayor Nina Epstein said there were no injuries and damages reported to the city as of 11:45 p.m.

"As far as I know as this point, everything seems to be fine. The storm has passed here," Epstein said.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson says the small town of Dwight, in Livingston County, appears to have been hit hardest.

About 40 mobile homes and about 10 other homes were destroyed and dozens more damaged. She says more than a dozen people were injured and at least six were taken to area hospitals, but she did not know their conditions.

Dwight Police said there were no fatalities reported as of 12:35 a.m. Sunday.

Thompson says storms damaged about 45 buildings in Elmwood, in Peoria County.

Emergency management officials were on the ground Sunday to get a better assessment of the damage.

A tornado watch was also in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday for parts of Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties, Rodriguez said. The watch was not in effect for Chicago.