Saturday tornadoes hit southern part of county

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Brady Glander posted this photo of a dark funnel cloud seen near Red Bud early Saturday evening. (photo from Monroe County EMA group on Facebook)

The National Weather Service reported Sunday that two brief tornadoes touched down in southern Monroe County at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, resulting in minor damage.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Monroe County Emergency Management Agency Director Ryan Weber said the NWS investigated areas affected by possible tornadic activity and came to the conclusion that there were two tornadoes in the county.

The first was an EF-0 tornado in Fults with wind speeds of approximately 80 miles per hour, a path length of one mile and maximum width of 40 yards.

The second tornado confirmed by NWS hit near Ames, just three miles west of Red Bud, and was also an EF-0 tornado with wind speeds of 70 miles per hour, a path length of one mile and maximum width of 40 yards.

Two homes were damaged in Fults, possibly due to a tornado. There was roof damage to the residence of retired Monroe County treasurer Merrill Prange on Church Street after part of a soft maple tree split and fell onto the home.

Across the street from the Pranges, the home of Nick and Heather Schreder also reported damage.

The tornado touchdown near Red Bud caused tree damage and minor crop damage, according to the NWS.

The Randolph County EMA reported multiple funnel cloud sightings early Saturday evening, but no tornado touchdowns or damage seen in their county, according to the North County News. The Hecker Fire Department was alerted to a funnel cloud seen in the  area of LL Road just north of Red Bud.

Other funnel cloud sightings were reported by multiple area residents.

As tornadoes go, the two that hit here Saturday were considered weak by Enhanced Fujita Scale standards. The EF Scale classifies tornadoes from EF-0 (weak) to EF-5 (violent) based on wind speeds. EF-0 tornadoes typically range from 65 to 85 miles per hour; EF-1 tornadoes range from 86 to 110 miles per hour; EF-2 tornadoes range from 111 to 135 miles per hour; EF-3 tornadoes range from 136 to 165 miles per hour; EF-4 tornadoes range from 166 to 200 miles per hour; EF-5 tornadoes have wind speeds of 200 miles per hour or above.

Those not already notified of severe weather or other emergency situations as part of the CodeRed “reverse 911” phone system in Monroe County can do so by visiting online at www.monroecountyil.org and clicking the “CodeRed Weather Warning” icon on the main page.

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