SPC Stats

Path length: 46.36 miles

Width:  880 yards

Fatalities:  3

Injuries:  125

Rating:  EF4

County:  Tazewell, Woodford, LaSalle, Livingston

A major tornado outbreak occurred on November 13, 2013.  In total, 74 tornadoes were produced, 7 were rated EF3 and 2 were rated EF4.  

Some statistics from the NWS Chicago:

  • This ranked as the 4th largest outbreak for the state of Illinois, in terms of number of tornadoes, since 1950.
  • There were 30 tornadoes in Indiana identified, which ranks this event as the second largest number of tornadoes in one day in state history.
  • The EF-4 tornado with maximum estimated winds of 190 mph that struck Washington, IL was the strongest on record for Illinois in the month of November since 1950.

This summary documents this significant tornado that devastated Washington, IL.  

It developed 2.4 miles SE of East Peoria at 1059am CST.  It moved through parts of town destroying 20 homes and causing major damage to 75 other homes, 7 businesses and 5 apartment buildings.  400 vehicles in East Peoria were damaged.  

The tornado then moved northeast and hit the town of Washington.  It had strengthened at this point to EF4 intensity and the width was estimated to be between 1/4 and 1/2 mile.  Per the NWS Storm Data Entry:  633 homes, 7 businesses, 7 apartment buildings and 2500 vehicles were destroyed.  

The tornado moved away from Washington and tracked into Woodford County.  It mainly pushed through open fields but it hit dozens of farmsteads at EF3 intensity.  Approximately 70 farm buildings and 7 homes were destroyed.   About 100 vehicles were damaged including several semis at a truck stop north of Minonk.  

The tornado weakened further to EF2 status has it crossed through LaSalle and then Livingston Counties.  A home at Danage was leveled.  This devastating tornado ended about 1/2 mile north of Long Point Blacktop Road between N 450 E Road and Route 23 in Livingston County.  

There were 125 injuries and 3 fatalities reported with the Washington tornado.

Steve Neubauer was killed by the tornado on November 17.  An article from the Journal Star from November 20, 2013, states that Neubauer, “was apparently trying to follow his wife, Beth, and another person into the basement of his home when the tornado hit.”

11 days after the tornado, 82-year-old Rosamund Allison died of her injuries sustained during the tornado.  Here is an article via the Chicago Tribune from November 30, 2013.

Another man died 6 weeks after the tornado hit.  Unfortunately, I could not find information on his passing.

Storm Data Entry

Tazewell:

A tornado touched down 2.4 miles SE of East Peoria at 10:59 AM CST, then tracked northeastward through parts of East Peoria and Washington before crossing the border into Woodford County at 11:12 AM CST. One man in Washington was killed by the tornado, one woman from Washington died 11 days later from multiple serious injuries sustained by the tornado, one man died six weeks later from injuries sustained by the tornado, and 121 people were injured.

In East Peoria: 20 homes were destroyed, while 75 homes, 7 businesses, and 5 apartment buildings suffered major damage.  Minor damage occurred to 137 homes and 3 businesses.  In addition, nearly 400 vehicles were damaged, thousands of trees and numerous power poles were destroyed. The estimated damage in East Peoria stands at $110 million.

In Washington: The tornado increased to EF4 intensity and widened to between 1/4 and 1/2 mile wide.  633 homes, 7 businesses, 7 apartment buildings, and 2,500 vehicles were destroyed.  Major damage occurred to 280 homes, 2 businesses, the roof of a school, and several outbuildings.  Minor damage occurred to another 190 homes.  Thousands of trees and power poles were snapped.  Nearly 5,000 people were in the path of this tornado:  however, injury and fatality totals were relatively low due to early warning and the fact that many people were either in church or out of town at the time.  The tornado moved out of the Washington city limits and across another 2 miles of rural Tazewell County before crossing the border into Woodford County.  Total damage in Washington is estimated at $800 million.

Woodford:

This tornado crossed the border from Tazewell County at 11:12 AM CST, then tracked northeastward across rural Woodford County before entering into far southern LaSalle County in National Weather Service Chicago’s County Warning Area (CWA) at 11:33 AM CST.  It weakened a bit to EF3 intensity but remained between 1/4 and 1/2 mile wide as it crossed into Woodford County.  During much of its time in Woodford County, the tornado traveled across open fields, impacting dozens of farmsteads.  Nearly 70 farm buildings and 7 homes were destroyed.  Major damage occurred to 17 homes, while 23 others received minor damage.  About 100 vehicles were damaged, including several semi trucks at a truck stop north of Minonk. Three people were injured in overturned semi trucks.  One cell tower was toppled and hundreds of power poles and trees were snapped.  Total damage from the tornado was estimated at $25 million.

LaSalle:

This is a continuation of a tornado that began in Tazewell County (NWS Central Illinois) and tracked across Woodford County, entering NWS Chicago county warning area in La Salle County, and finally ending in Livingston County.  The tornado entered La Salle County approximately half a mile east of State Route 251 north of Minonk where several power poles were snapped at the base along County Line Road.  On E 7th Road, a home had large portions of the roof removed.  Small outbuildings were completely destroyed. More power poles were snapped on E 8th Road and again on N 2nd Road near the intersection of E 10th Road.  A machinery shed was completely destroyed on N 2nd Road about half a mile west of Dana.  On E 11th Road just north of Dana, an addition to a home was completely leveled with several outbuildings destroyed.  This tornado entered Livingston County just northeast of Dana around 11:41 AM CST. Maximum wind speeds were estimated to be up to 135 mph.

Livingston:

This is a continuation of a tornado that began in Tazewell County (NWS Central Illinois) and tracked across Woodford County, entering NWS Chicago county warning area in La Salle County, and finally ending in Livingston County.  The tornado entered Livingston County about a third of a mile north of E 2400 N Road where power poles were leaning.  Several outbuildings were heavily damaged or destroyed on E 2475 N Road. Hardwood trees were snapped on N 200 E Road as well as wooden power poles.  A large shed housing a fire engine was completely destroyed with the fire engine rolled onto its side on Long Point Blacktop Road near the intersection of N 400 E Road.  On the northeast side of that intersection, a wooded area saw extensive tree damage with numerous trees sheared off about 20 to 30 feet from their bases.  The damage path ended about half a mile north of Long Point Blacktop Road between N 450 E Road and Route 23.  Maximum wind speeds were estimated to be up to 135 mph.

Tornado Path

The path in black shows the SPC coordinates:  Start: 40.622 / -89.5678     End: 41.0063 / -88.8439

Also plotted county segment coordinates provided by the NCDC Database.  

Note:  Exact tornado path may not be straight and/or continuous.

Images via the NWS Central Illinois Summary

Special satellite imagery was taken the day after the tornado. This image clearly shows the track of the tornado across Washington, IL from lower left to top right.
A zoomed-in view of some of the damage in Washington. This was along Gillman and Floosmoor Avenues.
This image, from the National Severe Storms Laboratory, is a composite of radar rotations associated with the tornado. The rotations started when the storm was southwest of Pekin, and increased in intensity as it approached East Peoria. A clear track of rotations continues northeast through Woodford County past Minonk.
This radar image, from 11:03 am, shows the hook echo persisting near the red triangle (which is the radar’s Tornado Vortex Signature, or TVS).
Severe damage in the town of Washington, Illinois. Image taken during the NWS damage survey.

Videos

Newspaper Clippings

Sources:

The Storm Prediction Center

NCDC Storm Events Database

November 2013 Storm Data Publication

NWS Central IL – Event Summary

NWS Chicago, IL – Event Summary

Remembering the November 17, 2013 Tornado Outbreak – IWeatherNet

Adams, Pam, et al. “Friends, Co-Workers Remember Washington Man Killed in Tornado.” Journal Star, Journal Star, 21 Nov. 2013, www.pjstar.com/article/20131120/NEWS/131129916.

newspapers.com

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