Tornado strikes Morgan County

By Jim McCabe on February 20 at 5:37pm

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Photo courtesy of Nic Jackson, southwest of Concord.

At least one confirmed tornado touched down in the Morgan/Cass County area this afternoon.

A tornado warning was issued for parts of Morgan, Scott and Cass Counties at around 2:45 p.m.

Morgan County ESDA Coordinator Bob Fitzsimmons says several storm reports came in at once, as the storm developed very quickly.

“It was a rope-like tornado, and it [touched] the ground more noticeably and was seen pretty much moving across the north to the northwest part of the county to the northeast, went through Chapin, could be seen from there, and Arenzville and Jacksonville, all the way across the northeast stretch,” says Morgan County ESDA Coordinator Bob Fitzsimmons.

“We don’t have any damage report at this time. It seems like it was pretty much out in the open areas, and there’s been no damage confirmed at this time.”

The severe weather happened at the worst possible time as far as school was concerned, according to District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek, but he says school officials handled it well.

“The individuals at the Central Office did a great job of going into action and diverting all of our buses that were currently on the road to the nearest school to ensure that the kids could get in the safe facility, and then they just sat in there and waited out the end of the storm,” he says.

“I was at Eisenhower [Elementary] at an observation and was able to witness the staff perform wonderfully in keeping the students inside of the building. I know we got reports from the high school, they went on lockdown and put the students in the hallways in safe positions. So, the district responded very well,” says Ptacek.

We have received numerous photos and video of the tornadic activity from our listeners on Facebook. If you have any you would like to share, email them to news@wlds.com.