Severe Weather Updates: Tornado Hits Illinois, Levels Small Town

Severe weather threats continue to for large areas of the U.S. after deadly tornadoes slammed through Illinois on Thursday evening, leaving an entire town devastated.

The Weather Channel predicts severe weather for the East Coast, and warnings are already in place throughout the morning hours. The good news is that the tornado threat is diminished from that on Thursday.

According to, there is a tornado watch in effect until 8 a.m. EDT for parts of central and southern Ohio and central Kentucky. This includes the city of Lexington. At this time, it appears the highest severe weather threat has now passed Louisville and Cincinnati.

After several days of rainy weather, things turned out dangerous on Thursday night when tornado warnings were issued in areas of northern Illinois. The Illinois Office of Emergency Management said one person was killed in Fairdale, a small town in Dekalb county, which took a direct hit from a powerful tornado.

According to DeKalb County Coroner and County Emergency Services Coordinator Dennis Miller, the victim was a 67-year-old woman, who was found unresponsive in her home by family members and was later pronounced dead. The tornado affected all 40 to 50 homes and buildings in Fairdale, authorities said.

Teams from the National Weather Service will be on site to survey the damage and determine how powerful the tornado was. Some of the severe weather was captured on video by motorists on Interstate 39. The footage shows that, even though that particular tornado was several yards away, it was strong enough to topple a big rig near Rochelle, Illinois.

Incident commander Pete Polarek said the winds were no match for the structures of the tiny town of about 200 residents.

"There's some houses that were pushed into a big pile," Polarek told reporters. "Some of the others, all that's left is a foundation."

Weather authorities are asking the public to be on alert for possible tornadoes on Friday. The severe weather threat expands into the Mid-Atlantic and South East.

[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]