Canton, IL Tornado, July 1975
TORNADO KILLS 3 IN ILLINOIS.
Canton, Ill. (AP) -- A tornado which slashed through
a three-block downtown area of the city has killed three persons.
At least 55 others were injured Wednesday, including 15 who were hospitalized, authorities said.
The twister's winds were so forceful that a 15-foot wooden plank was driven through an auto engine block, splitting the front of the car in two.
The twister hit this central Illinois community of 15,000 during the early evening and decimated the business district, severed electrical power and gas lines, sheared off roofs and uprooted scores of trees. It also overturned numerous autos and blew out hundreds of windows.
Initial reports from the Illinois State Police placed the number of dead at four. But a spokesman said early confusion probably accounted for duplicated reports.
A spokesman at Canton's Graham Hospital identified two victims as MATIE SPRAGUE and DOROTHY McCANN, 69, both of the Horton Trailer Court on the city's East Side. Both were dead on arrival, the official said. He said a third victim was confirmed dead but did not know where the body had been taken.
Three of those hospitalized were in critical condition, the spokesman said.
The area hit by the tornado included city square and another block farther south, and also caused extensive damage elsewhere. Authorities said at least minor damage was sustained in nearby rural areas.
The hospital, police station, City Hall and radio station WBYS were forced to operate on emergency generator-powered electricity.
Mayor Robert Jennings said electrical workers on strike against the Central Illinois Public Service Co. refused to repair broken electric lines. Jennings said he had sought help from Illinois Lt. Gov. Neil Hartigan and hoped to persuade private contractors to help out.
The tornado was part of a wide storm system that moved across Illinois on Wednesday night. High winds and hail caused minor damage in northern Illinois, and power outages were common particularly in the suburban area west and northwest of Chicago, state police reported.
Evening Independent Massillon Ohio 1975-07-24