The National Weather Service reports four tornadoes struck Mercer and Henry counties as storms moved through the area Saturday evening, July 12, 2014.
An EF-0 and three EF-1 tornadoes were confirmed in a report issued by the NWS Monday afternoon, July 14, 2014.
The EF-0, with an estimated peak wind speed of 75 miles per hour, was on the ground for about one-third of a mile at 9:20 p.m. Saturday, four miles north of Aledo in Mercer County. Damage from that tornado was primarily to corn crops, the NWS reported. The tornado path was an estimated 50 yards wide, and was on the ground for about one minute.
About ten minutes later, an EF-1 with an estimated peak wind speed of 105 miles per hour struck three miles west-northwest of Matherville in Mercer County. That tornado was on the ground for about ten minutes and followed a 3.6-mile path that damaged trees, crops and power poles along Ridge Road. The damage path was 100 yards wide at its widest point, and followed a line to a spot about a mile northeast of Matherville.
Dennis Swinford, who lives off of Ridge Road, said it would likely take months to clean up his entire yard.
“I had a little bit of damage on my house and on my shed, but I’ve lost pretty near every tree in the yard,” said Swinford. “There’s not really much for the corn anymore, either. It’s pretty well wiped out.”
Still, Swinford said he and his neighbors were feeling lucky.
“Nobody got hurt, that’s the main thing. Everything else can be replaced,” said Swinford.
At 9:46 p.m. an EF-1 tornado, with estimated peak wind speed of 100 miles per hour, touched down 4.25 miles southeast of Matherville. That tornado was on the ground for nine minutes before it lifted 4.4 miles northwest of New Windsor. The path of damage from the tornado was 2.75 miles long and 50 yards wide. Damage was primarily to trees and crops.
The fourth tornado reported that night was also an EF-1, which followed a path seven-tenths of a mile long with wind speeds peaking at 105 miles per hour. It struck at 10 p.m. 2.5 miles northwest of Alpha in Henry County, Illinois, and damaged crops and large trees before lifting one minute later, 2.8 miles northwest of Alpha.
The NWS did not have reports of any injuries or damage to buildings from the tornadoes. News 8 viewers shared photos from the July 12 storms in the gallery below.