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East Central Illinois spared major damage from Friday night storms

There was a lot of sound and fury with storms that blew through East Central Illinois late Friday night but apparently little property damage.

High winds and heavy rain that rocked the Springfield area around 8:30 p.m. appeared to have weakened as storms worked their way north and east.

Emergency Management Agency directors in Iroquois, Ford, Piatt, Champaign, Douglas and Vermilion counties report no significant damage other than branches down. There was a church fire in Danville early Saturday that may have been caused by a lightning strike.

Champaign County sheriff's police reported a car hydroplaned off a county road north of Champaign at 10:45 p.m. and ended up in a ditch but the driver was not injured.

"We skated," said Douglas County EMA Director Joe Victor, who said he's not gotten any calls about flooding in the usually vulnerable areas of his county like Villa Grove.

Vermilion County EMA Director Ted Fisher reported a couple of downed trees by Hoopeston and said a firefighter in Rankin reported 1-inch hail between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Some of the low-lying roads in Iroquois County, near Milford and Watseka, had water across them. But no serious flooding was reported.

Sugar Creek at Milford and the Iroquois River in both Illinois and Indiana are being monitored. Advisories are likely thru the latter part of the week.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Tornado confirmed in Benton County

BENTON COUNTY, Ind. - The National Weather Service announced Saturday that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Benton County Friday night.

The tornado was captured on video by a Benton County resident Joshua McKinzie.

According to the NWS, the tornado touched down briefly in an open field one mile north of Templeton. The tornado touched down near County Road 500 South and County Road 600 East.

The tornado was on the ground for a half a mile.

94.1 FM, WGFA

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Ford County Sheriff's police sued over inmate’s death

The family of a Hoopeston man who died inside the Ford County Jail last year is suing the Ford County Sheriff's department. The suit alleges Richard Gonzales was put in solitary confinement and denied medical care.

Arthur Gonzalez, the father of Richard Gonzalez, filed the suit in federal court in Urbana claiming correctional officers in Ford County neglected his son's serious shoulder injury.

Gonzalez reportedly died of cardiac arrhythmia while awaiting transfer to a state prison. He was being held for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton ATM.

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money.

94.1 FM, WGFA

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River Valley Recycling hosts Grand Opening

It’s one of the area’s leaders in promoting a clean environment.  And officials at River Valley Recycling are geared up for their grand opening.  River Valley Recycling is announcing the opening of its location at 550 Hobbie Avenue in Kankakee.  The company now has three (3) locations, including the new Hobbie Avenue site and at South tech drive in Kankakee and also Route 24 (between Watseka and Crescent City) in Iroquois County.

River Valley Recycling owner Kyle Bruno says Hours at the 3 locations are Monday thru Friday 8 – 4:30 and Saturday 8 – 12:30. 

Bruno says River Valley Recycling is excited about its new location following a fire in 2011.

Find more info at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Parent Category: News

Prep for more severe weather in Central Illinois Friday

The National Weather Service is telling us to be ready for more threatening weather today (Friday).  

Thunderstorms rolled through Central Illinois Thursday, damaging  trees and power lines.  The heavy rain added yet more moisture to already saturated grounds, but damage reports weren’t too severe.

Meteorologists say now’s the time to get yourself in the severe weather mode. Gino Izzo says “it’s about preparation not reaction.”

Today’s forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day and an 80 percent chance at night. Isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail will be possible.

The chance of thunderstorms drops to 60 percent Saturday, and the weather is expected to be partly sunny Sunday and Monday.

The storms Thursday through Saturday are expected to drop a total of 2 to 3 inches of rain, prompting concerns about flash.

Watseka Public Works crews and fire department personnel were clearing some trees and power lines last night.  North 6th Street and W. North Street had debris on the roadway.  A semi was blown over on I-57 north of Gilman.  Winds were clocked at 56 mph.

Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club members were activated with weather spotting detail last evening.

Thursday’s storms toppled a tree 16 to 30 inches in diameter on Illinois 116 near Minonk about 3:30 p.m. About 15 minutes later, a 50 mph gust was reported in El Paso.

Ameren reported about 15,000 customers without power statewide late Thursday night, but most of the outages were in the Springfield and East St. Louis areas. Local outages were 123 customers in Logan County, 60 in DeWitt County, 45 in Tazewell County, 23 in Woodford and nine in McLean County.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch from 1 p.m. Thursday through Saturday evening

High temperatures are expected to be about 80 degrees Friday and Saturday and about 68 degrees Sunday and Monday.

94.1 FM, WGFA