Illinois counties participate in statewide tornado drill - KMSP-TV

Illinois counties participate in statewide tornado drill

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(Tom Stibernick) (Tom Stibernick)
LINCOLN, Ill. (Associated Press) -

Tornado sirens sounded across Illinois as part of a statewide emergency preparedness drill on Tuesday.

The National Weather Service said the drill was scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. in every Illinois county.

March is Severe Weather Preparedness month in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office says 54 twisters were recorded in Illinois in 2013. They're blamed for the deaths of eight people and caused nearly 200 injuries. More than 2,000 homes were damaged by the tornadoes.

Nearly half the tornadoes touched down Nov. 17 when about two dozen twisters crisscrossed Illinois.

Children in the central Illinois community of Washington are hearing tornado sirens for the first time since twisters crossed the state in November, killing seven people and destroying hundreds of homes.

School Superintendent John Tignor says there were no reports of children getting upset when sirens sounded at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The district alerted parents about the drill and teachers have been talking to students about the sirens for several weeks.

Tignor says the school often sends students to a secure location during a drill, where they lay on the floor. But administrators decided that might be too traumatic for the students, who instead remained in class.

The tornado that hit Washington had winds that reached up to 190 mph. It was on the ground for more than 46 miles.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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