The Immeasurable Cost of the December 10-11, 2021 Tornado Outbreak

In 2021, many of us watched as storms tore apart lives and communities across Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, and Kentucky. After events of this magnitude, images depicting seas of wreckage where homes and businesses once stood can blind us to the true nature of the loss at hand. Ranging from six days to 98 years of age, a total of 92 people lost their lives during the tornado event. They were cherished as friends or family by thousands. This article details the stories of every one of those people, as well as all of the 23 significant tornadoes that formed during this event.

Taylorville, IL EF3 Tornado – December 1, 2018

On December 1, 2018, a regional outbreak unfolded across Illinois, resulting in 29 total tornadoes in the late afternoon and evening hours. Of the twisters that occurred, one was rated EF3, with three more being rated EF2. This summary will focus on the EF3 tornado that struck Taylorville, IL, with the most intense damage being southwest of the city in the unincorporated community of Hewittsville.

Murphysboro, IL F4 Tornado – December 18, 1957

A total of 25 tornadoes occurred on December 17, 1957, all in Illinois or Missouri. Two were later rated F4 and 1 was given an F5 rating. In this summary, we look at an F4 that traveled close to 30 miles through parts of Jackson, Williamson and Franklin Counties in Illinois. Per Thomas Grazulis in Significant Tornadoes, the path followed closely to a section of the great Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925.

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