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6/12/2013 5:20:00 PM Illinois Valley under tornado watch
State issues storm reminders
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would like to warn of a potentially dangerous line of storms moving through the Midwest that could impact much of the state Wednesday evening and especially Northern Illinois counties.
The storms are expected to bring heavy rains, large hail and strong winds until midnight. Flash flood watches are in place throughout portions of the state, with flooding possible in low-lying areas, river streams and viaducts.
IDOT is receiving regular updates from the National Weather Service (NWS) and is preparing all districts throughout the state for the possibility of severe weather. IDOT will continue to coordinate with the NWS and other entities to provide information on pre-storm information as well as post storm response.
Motorists are urged to take precautions on the roads, as storms could potentially impact driving conditions.
Severe Weather Driving Tips: • Do not drive through flooded areas • Be aware of vehicles around you • High winds are most problematic for drivers of trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, campers, and drivers who are towing trailers • Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down • Allow extra distance for braking • If your car stalls in high water, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground
The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning until 9 p.m. Wednesday for four counties in the Illinois Valley area: La Salle, Putnam, Bureau and Lee counties. The Illinois Valley also was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 1 a.m., and eastern Lee County was under a severe thunderstorm warning until 5:15 p.m. A rotating storm and funnel cloud were reported near Paw Paw at about 4:20 p.m.
A storm carrying ping-pong-ball-sized hail was reported farther north, near Oregon, Ill.
The area also has a high risk of severe thunderstorms Wednesday, including winds in excess of 75 miles per hour and very large hail, according the NWS. The storms are coming in from the west and are expected to reach the Illinois River by 4 p.m.
For a graphic forecast, visit the NWS website (see Related Links below).
National Weather Service note: (DeKalb County) SHERIFF REPORTS TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN IN AN AREA AROUND SHABBONA ROAD AND SLEEPY HOLLOW ROAD FROM A POSSIBLE TORNADO.