By Lisa Rodgers


BOONE COUNTY- April 9 saw the local forecast change minute to minute. Weather Forecasters had been warning as early as April 4 that Thursday could develop into a dangerous storm system. The Weather Channel had us at a Torcon 6 or 60% likely hood of tornadoes on April 9.

Shortly after 6 p.m. the first Tornado Warning was issued for just south of Cherry Valley and by 6:35 p.m. the Tornado Warning for a large wedge tornado near Ashton was issued.

This tornado would strike Rochelle and Fairdale leaving a path of destruction and fatalities. Many thanks to the local TV stations and Meteorologists that broke into regular programing to keep us all informed and safe!

Considering Boone County’s history of tornadoes, it’s very appropriate to review what we can do to be prepared in the event of another tornado. It is important to know the difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning.

Tornado Watch – Means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. This is the time to review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies in your safe room. Have a NOAA weather radio on for possible warnings.

It’s also a good time to move valuables, purses and important papers to the safe room. You may not have time to grab them during a Tornado Warning. Being prepared in advance if a warning is issued may save your life and that of your family.

Did you know only 17% of the population takes shelter during a Tornado Warning?

Tornado Warning – Means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately to your safe place, which could include a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).

Prior Preparations in event of a Tornado Warning:

* Select a safe room in your home where household members and pets can go for protection.  A basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

* Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.

* Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.

* Know your community’s warning system.

* Make sure your cell phones are fully charged in the event of power loss.

* Have new batteries in flash lights and other potential safety equipment.

* Keep a copy of your insurance papers and contact information in your safe place in case you need them quickly in the event of an insurance claim.

* Chip your pets in case they are lost in a tornado. It will be easier to have them returned should they be displaced.

* Select a meeting place in the event family becomes separated. Cell phones may not be operational.

* Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees prior to storms.

* Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or any loose items that may be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

Tornadoes began being tracked in 1950. Boone County has now had four major tornadoes.

* April 21, 1967 Belvidere High School took a direct hit. Twenty-four perished with 13 being children.   Categorized as an F4 Tornado, its path length was 25-28 miles and had a width up to 1⁄2 mile with winds of approximately 240mph.

* Jan. 7, 2008 Edwards Apple Orchard took a direct hit near Poplar Grove. Categorized as an EF-3.  There were no fatalities.

* Nov. 22, 2010 the Village of Caledonia took a direct hit. Categorized as an EF-2. There were no fatalities.

* April 9, 2015 just south of Belvidere Summerfield Zoo and several homes were effected. Categorized as an EF-1. There were no human fatalities, however, Summerfield Zoo lost several animals.

Did you know?

* On Sept. 14, 1928 a tornado struck Rockford, IL and it eventually moved into Boone County. The tornado descended at the southern city limits and would strike the furniture factory at approximately 3:22 p.m. killing eight.

It would then travel 2 miles south of Argyle and 1 mile north of Poplar Grove at 3:40 p.m. and the damage near Capron occurred around 4 p.m. Its path was about 35 miles with the width of 200 to 500 feet. Fourteen deaths occurred and about 100 persons were injured in Rockford alone. (*Monthly Weather Review published September 1928, Fred H. Weck, Assist. Meteorologist Cicero Aviation Field, Chicago, Ill)

Take head to the Watches and Warnings and be safe!

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.