There were no tornado sirens in the small town of Fairdale, Illinois, which was leveled by a devastating tornado that killed at least two people and left nearly a dozen others injured.
Kirkdale Fire Chief Chad Connell said Friday that residents received warning from media outlets and county warnings and credited social media with notifying many in the area. Officials noted the area is unincorporated.
“Municipalities are not regulated at this time to have [sirens],” Connell said. “In this day and age with social media it’s, in this case, I really think that it helped more than anything so I don’t want to get wrapped up in a tornado siren in a town and think that’s really going to save lives over anything else.”
Officials said the two people killed in the storm were in the hardest hit area of the town and at least one of them had sought cover in a bathroom because she didn’t have a basement.
The two neighbors, 67-year-old Geradine M. Schultz and 69-year-old Jacklyn Klosa, were identified Friday as crews continued to search through debris for any other victims.
“Those victims that were in the areas were the most devastating spots in this town,” Connell said. “There were 17 homes leveled and debris piles that are just unbelievable up there.”
DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said as of 2:30 p.m., 11 people had been transported to area hospitals, one in critical condition, but no known residents were left unaccounted for.
Canine cadaver dogs were searching the areas Friday, police said.
First responders said several people were rescued from basements Thursday night.
“My level of confidence is that we have everyone out of the area,” Connell said.
Recovery efforts were expected to continue into the evening hours.