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ELKVILLE — Tuesday night's storm that tore through a part of Southern Illinois damaged 46 homes, 12 of which were a total loss, according to a report from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency.

Four Jackson County residents were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries from flying debris, according to the news release. Those treated were released.

At least six homes were destroyed, three totally leveled, by Tuesday night's tornado, which ripped through a strip of Elkville. An undetermined number of vehicles, out-buildings and other structures were also damaged or destroyed, according to the release. The Powerade baseball complex in Elkville also sustained major damage.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Rachel Trevino, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the storm measured at least an EF-3 — an Enhanced Fujita scale rating that indicates a tornado with winds of 136 to 165 mile per hour — in Elkville and Vergennes. NWS teams are still assessing the damage to determine a final EF rating.

Elkville police and others were out surveying the damage on Wednesday morning.

"Most of our damage was isolated to the north of town," Elkville Police Chief Kenton Schafer said.

In the Chamnesstown section of Elkville shortly after the storm, one house sitting on a slight hill had extensive damage to its roof, a collapsed front door area and garage; further down the street, debris and wreckage marked the home that Sgt. Travis Hicks said he remembered visiting frequently: the home that his grandmother lived in.

Elkville Tornado

This is one of the homes demolished by a tornado that hit Elkville on Feb. 28, 2017.

The woman was taken to an area hospital, treated and released, Schafer said Wednesday morning.

Schaefer said he had spoken to Jackson County Emergency Management representatives and was expecting them out to survey damage in the village.

After the storm Tuesday night, downed wires left much of the area dark, as street lights and electricity services were impacted; shortly after the storm, at least one Ameren service truck was seen driving through part of Elkville and other workers worked on part of a Chamness Road train track where part of a signal had been broken.

Also along that road, parts of a wooden fence in front of another property was damaged and strips of tin siding were far-flung, hanging from trees, across fields and one piece inextricably twisted between a pole and its nearby wire fence.

Several homes and businesses lost power throughout the areas affected by the storm. A news release from Ameren indicated that a majority of homes in the Carbondale and Ottaw areas would have power restored as of Wednesday evening.

Schaefer and Elverado School Superintendent Kevin Spain said anyone wanting to help those impacted in the Elkville area and those needing help in the village area should call the Elverado School District at 618-568-1321.

Spain said Elverado schools were closed Wednesday, and Spain said he did not know when they would reopen.

"I don't know, day-to-day," he said.

"We had several homes destroyed in the district and some of our main roads were closed."

The district has about 405 students, in kindergarten to 12th grades, from Elkville, Vergennes, Dowell and Somserset.

Communities like Grand Tower and Benton, which were both pelted by hail, escaped serious damage.

Joyce Ellet, the wife of the Grand Tower mayor, said the hail damaged some siding and roofs of homes; Benton's zoning administrator, David Garavalia, said he checked out the town around midnight Tuesday and didn't see or later, hear, of any serious damage.

Franklin County Sheriff Donnie Jones said three homes were destroyed in Six Mile Township, which is near Mulkeytown; the majority of the damage was on Yellow Bank Road in the township. Two of the homes of were occupied, but there were no known injuries. 

Mulkeytown tornado damage

The site of a home south of Mulkeytown that was destroyed by a tornado on Feb. 28, 2017, is littered with debris and broken trees the following morning.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office commended the various local fire departments for their assistance and the Murphysboro and Carbondale police departments for providing law-enforcement coverage to unaffected areas of the county, allowing the county deputies to focus on the disaster areas.

— Isaac Smith contributed to this story.


On Twitter: @scribeest



Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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