Galesburg Fire Reminds Residents to be Ready for Severe Weather

Severe Weather Season 2020

March 24, 2020 02:42 PM


  Contact: Battalion Chief Perry

P: 309.345.3717

It’s that time again each year when Illinois prepares for severe weather and The Galesburg Fire Department wants residents to be safe. GFD would like to encourage everyone to visit the following websites for an abundance of tools and information ensuring you and your loved ones are prepared for extreme weather.


• The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world! An average of nearly 1,400 tornadoes impact the U.S. every year.

• Illinois averages 53 tornadoes each year. Last year, 48 tornadoes were reported in Illinois resulting in 1 injury and causing more than $2 Million in property damage.

• Tornadoes in Illinois have killed 228 people, and injured more than 4,520 since 1950

• The biggest tornado outbreak in Illinois since 1950 occurred on April 19, 1996. A total of 39 tornadoes were reported on that day, including four F3 tornadoes. One person was killed, 74 people were injured, and property damage exceeded $100 Million. 

• High wind from downbursts and straight-line winds cause more damage than nearly 75% of the tornadoes that occur in Illinois! Illinois averages around 515 reports of thunderstorm related wind damage each year.

• 43 people have died from damaging winds in Illinois since 1984.  Since 2000 there have been 274 people injured in Illinois from severe storm wind gusts

• Illinois averages 860 reports of wind damage and large hail annually. Too often, people ignore severe thunderstorms because they believe only a tornado will cause damage or threaten their lives. The fact is a majority of the property damage and injuries each year is from high winds and large hail.  

• Severe thunderstorms produce tornadoes, damaging winds, lightning, hail or heavy rain

• High wind from straight-line winds and downbursts can cause more damage than nearly  75 percent of the tornadoes that occur in Illinois 

• One of the largest hailstones ever reported in Illinois fell near Minooka (Kendall County) on June 10, 2015. The hailstone was 4.75 inches in diameter, which is bigger than a grapefruit! Damages in excess of $100,000 were reported with this hailstorm. 

• Most lightning deaths occur while people are fishing OR under/near trees. 

• Illinois ranks 8th in the U.S. for the most lightning strikes per square mile each year

• Fourteen people died as a result of driving across flooded roads in 2015, 11 of whom perished during the major flood in late December. This was the highest annual number of flood fatalities since records have been kept. 

 • Prolonged flooding from creeks and rivers and flash flooding from rain swollen roads and waterways are dangers that too many people ignore, sometimes with fatal consequences. Many flood-related rescues, injuries and fatalities have been the result of people in vehicles attempting to drive across flooded roads.

 • The most dangerous type of flooding is a flash flood. Flash floods can sweep away everything in their path.

 • Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms and occur most frequently at night.  

• Flooding has been a factor in 51 deaths across Illinois since 1995. This is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period. Many of these flood fatalities (77%) involved people in vehicles trying to cross flooded roads.

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