At least a half dozen homes were damaged in northern Boone County this afternoon after a tornado touched down northeast of Poplar Grove in the area of Beaverton, Centerville and Stimes roads.



At least a half dozen homes were damaged in northern Boone County this afternoon after a tornado touched down northeast of Poplar Grove in the area of Beaverton, Centerville and Stimes roads.

Boone County resident Al Ost who lives in the 17000 block of Stimes Road said he “prayed like a sissy” after watching a funnel cloud roar toward his house before he fled to the basement. It damaged a barn on his property, strewing roof parts in his yard and along the roadway, he said.

Ost said the storm appeared like a “black column in the sky” and inside the rotating mass were trees. Ost said it sounded like the proverbial freight train as it passed over his home.

Jean Lowman, a neighbor of Ost, said she had lots of large old trees down in her yard.

Dozens of trees were knocked down, blocking numerous roadways. A dairy barn also collapsed because of the storm, according to Scott Yunk of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities were recommending media and others near the site of the damage head to the Poplar Grove Fire Station on Illinois 173 as rescue and cleanup operations continued along Beaverton, Stimes and Centerville roads.

5:41 p.m.: Edward’s Apple Orchard buildings damaged; orchard remains intact

The owner of Edward’s Apple Orchard says the eight buildings on his property bore the brunt of the damage from the tornado that ripped through Boone County this afternoon, but the popular orchard remains intact.

Ken and Barb Hall’s home, which is situated near the orchard, sustained structural damage, he said. The Red Cross or family members will likely house them tonight, Ken Hall said.

All eight of the buildings on the property have been damaged, Ken Hall said this evening.

“Either the roofs are gone or half the buildings are gone,” he said.

Despite the number of downed trees, which littered the property and blocked the roads for miles, the apple trees withstood the winds, Ken Hall said.

4:58 p.m.: January tornado area's second in 60 years

The National Weather Service office in Romeoville said that Monday’s tornado in Poplar Grove was only the second in January in northern Illinois in 60 years of record-keeping.

The other January tornado in northern Illinois touched down January 25, 1950 near Manteno in Kankakee County.

4:48 p.m.: Tornado damages six homes in Boone

At least a half dozen homes were damaged in northern Boone County this afternoon after a tornado touched down northeast of Poplar Grove in the area of Beaverton, Centerville and Stimes roads.

Dozens of trees were knocked down, blocking numerous roadways. A dairy barn also collapsed because of the storm, according to Scott Yunk of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

3:53 p.m.: Tornado touches down in Poplar Grove

A tornado touched down at Edwards Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove in Boone County this afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for northern Boone and Winnebago counties, but downgraded the warning to a watch in Winnebago County by 3:45 p.m.

“There’s a string of thunder storms eight miles southwest of Machesney Park,” said Ron Canode a volunteer with the Emergency Services Disaster Agency. “There was rotation in it per radar, but nothing has been sighted.”

Residents are urged to take shelter until the warning lifts.

Earlier today, Winnebago County was placed under a tornado watch until 9 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued the watch about 2:35 p.m. The watch is in addition to an existing flood watch, which is in effect through Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service is predicting 1 to 2 inches of rain today through Tuesday afternoon.

“That could certainly complicate things as far as the soils, which are already saturated,” said Ed Fenelon, National Weather Service meteorologist.


View Larger Map

3:38 p.m.: Tornado warning issued for northern Winnebago, Boone counties

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for northern Boone and Winnebago counties.

The warning will be in place until 3:45 p.m. A warning means there is immediate danger of a tornado or a tornado has been sighted.

Residents are urged to take shelter until the warning lifts.

Earlier today, Winnebago County was placed under a tornado watch until 9 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued the watch about 2:35 p.m. The watch is in addition to an existing flood watch, which is in effect through Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service is predicting 1 to 2 inches of rain today through Tuesday afternoon.

“That could certainly complicate things as far as the soils, which are already saturated,” said Ed Fenelon, National Weather Service meteorologist.

Click here for the National Weather Service warning advisory.

Rockford Register Star