Many of you are already aware that a large tornado hit Taylorville IL on December 1, 2018. Taylorville is home to Watson’s second manufacturingfacility.
The food bank in Taylorville had an immediate increase in need for food from families impacted by the storm. Some families had lost everything and had urgent needs. Watson was able to assist by donating $2,500 for emergency relief food and supplies for Taylorville. In addition to the cash, Philip delivered the spare Kroger Grocery Store gift cards that were left over from the Thanksgiving gifts.
This is an especially difficult time for families, right before the holidays. Watson Taylorville holds a toy drive annually for families in need, and this year we were able to increase donations to provide additional toys. It is expected that more families than ever will need assistance this year due to the loss of homes and livelihoods.
The National Weather Service has classified the tornado as an EF3, making it the strongest one to touch down in the town since NWS began keeping records in 1950.
This tornado, which had a top wind speed between 150 and 155 miles per hour, was one of three that touched down in Christian County. The other two were rated as EF0 and EF2.
The tornado that ripped through Taylorville reportedly injured 26 people and damaged more than 500 structures. It traveled 11.5 miles on the ground and was a half mile wide at its peak. It reached the edge of Taylorville about 5:21 p.m. Saturday.
Christian County was declared a state disaster area Monday Dec. 3rd by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond.
It is expected that it will take several months to clean up from the storm.
The Watson IT team and Taylorville team worked tirelessly to get internet, computers, and operations up as quickly as possible after power was restored. A big thank you to all of you for all your good work and fast response!