EF-2 Tornadoes Strike Pontiac, Seneca; 2 of at Least 9 Tornadoes to Touch Down in Illinois Wednesday: NWS

As the entire Chicago area was under the threat of severe weather, trained spotters reported multiple instances of tornadoes touching down west of the city

At least nine tornadoes touched down in northern Illinois during Wednesday night's severe storms, the National Weather Service confirmed.

The number of confirmed tornadoes will likely increase, the National Weather Service in Chicago told the Associated Press, as survey crews investigate damage Thursday along three separate supercell paths.

Six of the tornadoes assessed by Thursday afternoon were said be an EF-2 and an EF-1. 

An EF-2 tornado injured four people in Pontiac, in Livingston County, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado began at 10:06 p.m. just 8 miles northeast of Pontiac and traveled 11.1 miles, ending 3 miles southeast of the Illinois town. Winds peaked between 115 and 125 mph.

The second EF-2 tornado traveled from Marseilles around 8:53 p.m. and reaching Seneca in LaSalle County by 9:10 p.m. Fire officials were helping people who were trapped inside a house in Seneca, though no injuries were reported, the NWS reports. Winds reached 116 mph, and the tornado traveled 8.1 miles.

Another tornado that had touched down at 8:39 p.m. just north of Ottawa was said to be an EF-1. The tornado traveled 6.7 miles and had winds up to 90 mph, the NWS said. 

Video appears to show a tornado touching down in Mendota, Illinois.

An EF-1 twister touched down around 11:37 p.m. in Iroquois County, near Cissna Park, according to the NWS. The tornado traveled more than 3.5 miles with wind speeds of 110 mph. 

Twisters were also reported a mile south of Leland and 2 miles southwest of the village of Troy Grove, both in LaSalle County.

In Grundy County, a tornado was spotted around 9:30 p.m., with winds at 85 mph, according to the NWS. Traveling a mile, the twister was categorized as an EF-0.

The first tornado of the evening was spotted at 7:12 p.m., 5 miles east of Amboy in Lee County, moving east at 25 miles per hour, according to the NWS. Minutes later, the twister was spotted touching down near Shaw Road in Compton, with tree damage reported. That tornado was an EF-1, traveling 2.3 miles with winds reaching 100 to 110 miles per hour. 

A funnel cloud appeared in south suburban Harvey, in Cook County, at 9:15 p.m. near 147th St and I-57. 

Tornado Warnings were issued for a number of Chicago-area counties as storms began moving in shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. 

Several counties were also placed under a Tornado Watch just after 6 p.m. The watch was canceled around 9:45 p.m. for many counties, but for remained in effect until 1 a.m. for Grundy, Kankakee and LaSalle Counties in Illinois, and Jasper, LaPorte, and Newton Counties in Indiana.

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