On Thursday evening, an Illinois tornado touched down in DeKalb County, located in the northern region of the state roughly 80 miles west of Chicago. At least one person has been reported killed in the small town of Fairdale, authorities said. Seven others were taken to local hospitals for injuries, DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said in a statement.
A 67-year-old Fairdale woman was found dead in her home by her family, DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said at a press conference early Friday morning. Roughly a quarter of the 75 homes in 150-resident town were destroyed, Scott said. Rockford Fire Department division chief Matthew Knott said Fire officials said every one of the roughly 50 buildings in Fairdale sustained damage.
Elsewhere, storms ravaged the region, causing damage to buildings in nearby cities. Twelve people were trapped in a Rochelle, Illinois, restaurant after the facility was nearly demolished in the storm. All, including the restaurant manager and staff, were rescued from the Grubsteakers' cellar after emergency crews removed debris to free them, according to authorities. No one was injured. In neighboring Ogle County, Sheriff Brian Van Vickle said around 20 homes were severely damaged or destroyed, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
According to the Weather Service, the Fairdale tornado was a part of a major storm that was tracked across five counties. Radar reports said the storms produced at least one other tornado in the region. Other tornadoes were spotted in Iowa and Ohio.