Sublette “Decimated” by Storm: Officials

National Weather Service forecasters confirmed an EF-2 tornado raked the community

Emergency personnel on Tuesday afternoon toured the Woodhaven Lakes resort for a second time to look for people trapped in their trailers after storms "decimated" the area. 

"We did have a report late in the morning of two people that were actually trapped inside their trailer," said Sublette Asst. Fire Chief Kevin Schultz. "They were not injured. They were not harmed. They just couldn't get out the doors because of all the debris."

Gov. Bruce Rauner deployed a search-and-rescue force to assist local responders. Five people were ultimately rescued from their homes, but only one, a woman whose home was blown apart by the storm, was hospitalized. Her injuries were non-life-threatening, officials said. 

National Weather Service forecasters confirmed that an EF-2 tornado raked the Lee County community, located about 55 miles south of Rockford, knocking trees onto trailers and relocating other homes off their foundations. 

"The best way to describe it is decimated,” Schultz said. "There are trailers in trees, trailers upside down, we have gas that is in the trees. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen."

National Weather Service forecaster Dr. Victor Gensini said the main tornado may have sprouted other, smaller vortices. He estimated the winds that passed through the area were about 130 mph.

Wookhaven Lakes is a private camping resort of about 6,200 property sites and can be a very populated place on the weekends, with between 8,000 and 15,000 temporary residents. Officials said there were only about 300 people on the grounds during the Monday night storms.

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