Terrifying Home Video Captures Twister Leveling an Illinois Neighborhood

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 22 2013 10:28 AM

This Is What It Looks Like When a Twister Levels Your Neighborhood in Seconds

At least 11 tornadoes touched down in Illinois this past Sunday, claiming a half dozen lives and destroying thousands of homes in the process. Among the hardest hit communities was that of Washington, located about a two-and-a-half-hour drive southwest of Chicago. Local officials there estimate that nearly 1,500 homes either suffered major damage or were completely destroyed by the EF-4 twister that tore through town, peaking at 190 mph and remaining on the ground for an estimated 46 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

Those are just numbers, however. To get a better feel of the sheer power and devastation caused by the storm we have the video above, captured by Marc Wells, who took shelter inside his house as the twister approached and then reemerged, only moments later, to find his home destroyed and his neighborhood almost entirely leveled in the short time he was inside.

Advertisement

As shocking as the video is, the audio is more terrifying. You can hear not only the storm's power, but also the terror in the voice of both Wells and his oldest daughter Josie, particularly during the middle section of the clip during which the screen goes completely black. Thankfully, both Wells and his daughter were unharmed. Others in the state weren't so lucky. The death toll from Sunday's storms currently stands at six, the highest tornado-related tally for the state on a single November day.

**Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

(h/t to Gawker for spotting the video)

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.