Local

Tornado touches down in Coal City

Emergency crews are seen on Berta Road in Coal City on Monday night after a tornado struck the town.
Emergency crews are seen on Berta Road in Coal City on Monday night after a tornado struck the town.

COAL CITY – A tornado touched down late Monday night in Coal City, the second twister to hit the town in less than two years.

About 10 p.m. there was a confirmed report of a tornado in Coal City, according to the National Weather Service. The city also was hit by a tornado in November 2013.

“They do have a considerable amount of damage in Coal City,” said Will County Emergency Management Agency Director Harold Damron, who has spoken with Grundy County officials.

“Their initial information is at least 20 or so homes or buildings [were damaged],” said Damron, who did not know the extent of the damage other than to hear of one roof being torn off.

There are reports of numerous downed power lines throughout the city as well, and finding ways into the town are difficult.

Roads into Coal City, including Route 113 east of Route 47, were closed. Interstate 55 near Coal City exits also was jammed, according to eyewitness reports. Traffic on a police scanner reported fires and people trapped in structures.

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan said there were no immediate reports of fatalities.

“There are entrapments and they are trying to make their way to different locations,” he said of emergency crews in Coal City. “It sounds like Coal City has been hit pretty hard.”

Traffic heard on a police scanner noted flooding was reported in the Morris area because of heavy rains. Morris Fire Chief Tracey Steffes said Route 47 was flooding and urged residents to stay off the road.

Before the rain hit, road crews worked Monday afternoon to clear streets and sidewalks of tree branches and yard debris after strong winds ripped through the Joliet area.

The storm continued to Braidwood where it apparently moved south of the city, Damron said. But there was an overturned semitrailer at the Reed Road exit from Interstate 55, an area where the tornado may have crossed.

Damron said he had reports of two buildings being damaged in Braidwood, but he did not know the extent of the damage.

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