The sheer devastation of the this weekend’s tornadoes has been captured by a drone camera flying over the path of destruction.
The Illinois Department of Transportation sent one of their cameras high above the town of Taylorville to take in the scene.
In many cases there are now just empty plots of land where houses once stood. Debris is strewn all over the area with green gardens now full of rubble.
Entire neighborhoods have been flattened after a devastation tornado pummeled the small town of Taylorville, Illinois
Drone footage captures the completeness of the devastation that can be seen from above. The cleanup will take months
There was no order or pattern to the destruction. In some cases, homes and buildings would be left standing tall while next door neighbors lost everything.
There were at least 22 tornadoes that touched down injuring around 30 people across Saturday and Sunday.
Huge homes were smashed to pieces while those of neighbors near by could be left standing with barely a scratch
The rare December tornadoes included one that was a half-mile-wide. The tornadoes ripped roofs off homes and downed power lines.
The National Weather Service confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma – one person was killed in Missouri.
At least three tornadoes were also confirmed in northwest and southwest Arkansas, which largely caused property and structural damage.
A car that had been inside a building, was turned on its side. A suspected tornado ripped through the business destroying two buildings and damaging more than 100 cars
Russ Noel, owner of Country Classic Cars, looks at one of the damaged cars at Country Classic Cars near Staunton, Illinois
Tiffani Bailey carries an enlarged wedding photo of her grandparents, Charles and Betty Bailey, from the debris of her destroyed home in Taylorville. Bailey, who was in the trailer with her son and mom when it was hit, damaged her ribs and needed more than 30 stitches. ‘It’s a miracle I’m alive. I was in this trailer when it got hit. I lost everything, though. I got nothing,’ she said
Tad McCollough climbs out of the basement of his mom Cherri’s house after retrieving some items Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. The home was completely blown off the foundation and destroyed during a tornado Saturday
Rodney Henry scurries down the trunk of a large tree that fell onto the home of Chris and Dennis Metsker Sunday in Taylorville, Illinois
Peak months for tornadoes in much of the Midwest are April and June, according to the weather service. But at least 12 tornadoes were reported in Illinois on Saturday. If the majority are confirmed, that would be the most tornadoes in Illinois in a December storm since Dec. 18-19, 1957, when there were 21.
The weather service sent crews Sunday to survey the hardest-hit areas in Illinois.
Photographs and video from Taylorville showed several houses flattened, with residents wading into debris to salvage what they could. Some homes remained standing but with gaping holes in the roofs or with no roofs at all.
The storms spread as far as Florida and throughout Georgia, hitting a naval base
At least 20 tornadoes touchdown and were reported throughout the state Saturday, injuring dozens
Vickie Barker watches as her neighbors sort through the debris of their destroyed Taylorville. Barker said she watched from the window as it happened because she didn’t want to leave her husband alone during the storm and he couldn’t get to the basement. Barker’s roof was lifted off the home during the storm which among other things also destroyed her chimney and car port
David Bowers retrieves items from the interior of his tornado damaged Taylorville home . The roof of the home was completely torn off by the storm
John Tilton glances at the tornado damage to the front yard of his Taylorville home Sunday, December 2, 2018. Tilton and others at home took shelter in the bathroom during the tornado
Pete Barker of Harrisburg, carries a flag he got from a neighbor to put in front of his parent’s tornado-damaged house
The tornado was on the ground for around 10 miles before it thundered through Taylorville, and the weather service was able to warn residents of its arrival 41 minutes before it actually struck, Chris Miller, a meteorologist at the service’s Lincoln office, said in a phone interview Sunday. That advanced warning gave people critical time to take cover and may have saved lives.
Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall, speaking to reporters Saturday night shortly after the storm pounded the city of 11,000, said at least 100 homes had major damage, including his own, Springfield’s State Journal-Register reported.
A Taylorville Memorial Hospital spokesman said 21 people, from age 9 to 97, arrived for treatment Saturday. Most were released within hours. Miller said three people remained hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon.
Pete Barker said his dad, a Vietnam veteran who is hospitalized for a heart attack he suffered during the storm, always had flags here
The interior of a home is visible the day after a tornado blew it off it’s foundation in Taylorville, Illinois
Tammy Bowers and her son David gather a few items from the interior of their tornado-damaged home in Taylorville. The National Weather Service says multiple tornadoes touched down in central Illinois, damaging dozens of structures and injuring multiple people
Tim Mayes and his cousin David Bowers step gingerly through the interior of Bowers’ tornado-damaged home on Sunday
Miller said preliminary estimates are that the Taylorville tornado may have been an EF2, which indicates wind speeds as high as 135 mph. It could take several more days to know for sure.
The weather service said Sunday that a strong tornado that developed from severe thunderstorms Friday night touched down in Van Buren, Arkansas. It was rated an EF2. About 10 minutes later, a second weaker tornado was confirmed less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) away near the town of Rudy, Arkansas.
Damage surveys for the two tornadoes are ongoing but officials said dozens of homes were damaged.
Early Saturday morning a third tornado with estimated peak winds of 107 mph traveled about 8.5 miles through Spring Hill in southwest Arkansas. Its path was intermittent and mostly caused damage to trees and to some structures.
Marie Sheedy hauls salvageable items from the destroyed remains of her son Don’s shop, an old train shed, as residents dig out and clean up tornado debris in Taylorville Sunday
David Bowers, left, his son David and wife Tammy gather at the edge of their property after assessing the tornado damage
Steven Tirpak uses a chainsaw to remove tree branches that fell onto his two-story home in Taylorville
Joyce Morrissey sorts through the debris of her nephew Stephen Tirpak’s house in Taylorville
Steven Tirpak cleans debris from the remains of his two-story home in Taylorville