UPDATE: NWS says EF-2 tornado hits Pike County, Illinois - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

UPDATE: NWS says EF-2 tornado hits Pike County, Illinois

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PIKE COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) - The National Weather Service office in St. Louis said Friday that meteorologists were reviewing their operations after failing to issue a tornado warning during a tornado touchdown in Pike County, Ill. Thursday afternoon.

"We issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 2:25 p.m. and indicated that a tornado was possible when issuing the warning," senior forecaster Scott Truett said.

Truett said despite spotting some circulation on radar, the already windy day made it difficult for meteorologists to pick up the rotation of the storm. He said this is a reminder that severe thunderstorm warnings need to be taken seriously.

"A thunderstorm in of itself can produce damaging winds," Truett added. "They can also spawn tornadoes."

A National Weather Service survey team confirmed Friday that an EF-2 tornado touched down near Martinsburg, Illinois, and lifted north of Detroit, Illinois, where the wind speeds reached their maximum of roughly 120 miles per hour.

Pike County Emergency Management Director David Greenwood says multiple structures on Highway 106, including a large hog facility, were heavily damaged.

Greenwood says the Parks Livestock building between Pittsfield and Detroit was about 90 percent collapsed. He says the hog storage facility is approximately 150 feet by 100 feet in size. Several other structures in the area, including homes, were also damaged.

Sheriff Paul Petty reported damage to farm buildings and tree lines near Martinsburg. Petty says injuries were reported but none are believed to be serious.

Less than a mile from Parks Livestock, nearly every building on Tom Barger's farm was destroyed.

"You always think it's never going to happen to you and this one got us," Barger said.

More than a dozen volunteers came to help clean up the debris Friday morning.

"There were six canvas hoop structures and all six of them are gone," Barger said. "Towards the homestead, there were two barns and both of those are gone."

On Barger's home, crews worked to put the east side of the house back together.

"It's such a blessing to have people, friends and neighbors that want to help," Barger said.

Greenwood says it doesn't look like they will qualify for any state or federal funding.



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