Confirmed tornadoes damaged Champaign homes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Confirmed tornadoes damaged homes in the Champaign area on Sunday.

The National Weather Service confirmed two weak tornadoes touched down after 2 p.m. that afternoon. They damaged roofs and siding on several homes in the area. 

Homes lost power when the storm went through, but the latest Ameren Illinois outage map shows most of them have electricity back at this point. Damage costs are unknown at this time.

The NWS came to southwest Champaign at about 10 a.m. to go through damage assessments.

Both tornadoes were rated as EF-0, the lowest rating on the scale. The first touched down after 2:15 p.m. along Cooper Ridge Road, then damaged two house roofs before it dissipated. The second came just before 2:20 p.m. on the other side of Interstate 57, near Duncan Road and Rolling Acres Drive, before damaging two houses and snapping off trees.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by yesterday's storm as they begin the process to rebuild," Champaign firefighters said in a press release.

Responders say tornado sirens were not activated because the NWS utilizing radar echo and trained echo spotters did not notice conditions they look for before setting them off.

They say information from the NWS, spotters, or a report from police or fire about a funnel cloud could trigger the decision to turn on sirens. Radar echo information from the National Weather Service Lincoln can also lead to siren activation.

Firefighters are again reminding the public to go to the lowest level of a building in a tornado situation and stay sheltered until the storm passes. People in mobile homes are asked to leave those buildings before the storm arrives.

Anyone stuck outside is asked to find a low-lying area.