Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pontiac Storm Update: 'Frightening' Tornado Causes Damage to Businesses, Vehicles

A few mobile homes and a couple of businesses were severely damaged in Pontiac during Wednesday's storms.

Shortly before 10:30 p.m. CDT, a large tornado moved into the town, which is roughly 35 miles from Bloomington-Normal. The tornado ripped off the side of a Shell gas station, tossing mangled metal and wood around, according to ABC7. Some pieces shattered the windows of parked cars.

The glass hit one person, but the the injuries were minor.

"It was frightening. Frightening and sudden," longtime Pontiac resident Barbara Hetelle, said. "My husband and I were able to get home and immediately rushed to the crawlspace to wait out the storm."

The driver of a semi parked at the gas station suffered a dislocated shoulder after the winds blew his truck over onto its side.

Storm spotters reported seeing power flashes before much of the town of over 12,000 lost power, and chasers who followed the storm into Pontiac saw destroyed mobile homes at a trailer park. According to the fire chief in Pontiac, two children inside a mobile home suffered minor injuries, according to WGN. A neighbor ran to the aid of a woman was trapped in the rubble.

Meanwhile, workers at the BP station near I-55 were unharmed as they heeded the warnings and found shelter in their store.

The station's large awning that covered some fuel pumps was ripped from the ground and landed on two semi trucks. One, a tanker, was knocked over on its side.

Click on this link for the video of the women who rode out the storm at the gas station

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