Tornado tears through Addison, damages roofs, buildings; County issues disaster declaration

By Dee Longfellow

On Monday, April 3, DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy issued a disaster proclamation for DuPage County in response to damage that occurred during a tornado that occurred in Addison on Friday, March 31.

“Issuing a disaster declaration allows County residents impacted by the storm to seek any state or federal resources that may become available to assist in their recovery efforts,” Conroy said. “We will do everything we can to help anyone who may have been affected by this storm.”

On Saturday, April 1, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster declaration for counties struck by a series of tornadoes throughout the state, including DuPage.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that an EF-1 tornado traveled 1.6 miles from Lombard to Addison beginning at 8:17 p.m. Friday evening. The area hit by the tornado includes at least 18 properties with varying levels of damage, according to the Village of Addison. Most common were reports of damaged roofs, downed trees and power lines. A later report issued by the Daily Herald indicated that 25 structures sustained damages, including nine businesses and 16 residential buildings. These were the findings determined by assessments performed by Addison Village staff.

A security camera at a fire station in Addison caught the incident as the tornado tore through Addison, south of Fullerton Avenue, damaging roofs in area office buildings as well as a residential area. After examining the footage, officials determined the tornado traveled at 1.6 miles before it lifted after 8 p.m. on Friday. Further investigation showed more incidents of roof damage to office buildings and to the roof of an apartment complex. In addition, a semitrailer truck was reportedly blown over on I-290 and there was damage to the brick sound barriers installed along the tollway.

The NWS confirmed the estimated peak winds were as high as 95 miles per hour, assigning the tornado a rating of EF-1. The storms on Friday reportedly caused at least 18 tornadoes across the northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.

DuPage’s disaster declaration allows for County emergency procedures to go into effect, allowing the County to help procure items or services necessary to assist the community’s storm response.

Illinois congressional leaders in Washington forwarded a letter to President Joe Biden, urging support of Governor Pritzker’s request for federal assistance for the counties of Boone, Crawford, DuPage, Marion and Sangamon. Media outlets including the Daily Herald reported that a person was killed after the roof collapsed of the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere. In addition, three persons were reported dead in Robinson.

Late Monday evening, the National Weather Service confirmed that two tornadoes had struck the towns of St. Charles and Batavia. Those tornadoes were classified EF-o, which can bring winds at a rate of 65-85 mph. Wind forces in an EF-1 tornado can be as high as 110 mph, the NWS said.

At press time, the NWS was anticipating more storms possible late Tuesday on election night. Officials said that if storms arise in the area, it could likely bring with it hail, damaging winds and possibly more tornadoes.