Dozens of people were injured as multiple tornadoes wreaked havoc in central Illinois on Saturday night, officials say.
The exact number of twisters will not be known until crews survey the damage, but there were 22 reports of tornadoes in the state on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
“Tornadoes can happen at any month of the year across the United States; however, they are more common to occur across the Deep South during December,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rathbun.
The town of Taylorville, about 25 miles southeast of Springfield, may have been hit the hardest. At least 30 people were injured, according to The Weather Channel, and three people were taken to a Springfield hospital in critical condition.
The twister struck the town of about 11,000 just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, according to The Weather Channel.
“There are multiple, I would guess, over a hundred (homes), easily, that are damaged severely from the storm because it took a path almost right through town,” Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall said during a press conference on Saturday.
Goodall said that many roofs on homes are gone, including his own. Several thousands residents were without power early Sunday, according to The Weather Channel.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center in response to the storms.