UPDATE: No one struck by lightning in Paxton

UPDATE: No one struck by lightning in Paxton

New Tuesday:  

The manager of Monical’s Pizza in Paxton is clarifying what he termed inaccurate media reports stating that someone was struck by lightning outside his restaurant during Monday night’s storms.

A number of media outlets — including The News-Gazette and Ford County Record — reported Tuesday that city officials had said a person was struck by lightning. Ed Hanson, director of Paxton’s Emergency Management Agency, told The News-Gazette that he did not think the person had to be taken to a hospital.

Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren told the Ford County Record that the incident happened around 9 p.m. on the west side of Monical’s Pizza on West Ottawa Road.

Later Tuesday, Monical’s Pizza manager Jason Mills called the Ford County Record stating that no one was struck by lightning near his restaurant. Rather, Mills said, a lightning strike nearby caused a person to have a “slight tingle in his arm” when he touched the door to the restaurant.

“There was a lightning strike near Monical’s,” Mills said. “It probably hit a pole or something. We had some damage inside the restaurant (as a result). The person (who was reportedly struck by lightning) had a slight tingle in his arm when he touched the door, so we went ahead and called an ambulance to get him checked out to make sure everything was good. They took him to the hospital, and he went home that night.”

Elsewhere in Paxton Monday night, high winds blew the roof off of a building at the intersection of Vermilion and Holmes streets. Hanson also reported some tree limbs down on homes but described that damage as minor.

Meanwhile, no major injuries or damage were reported in Champaign or Vermilion counties Monday night, according to each county’s EMA.

Storm-spotters reported a funnel cloud around 7:45 p.m. about 4 miles north of Urbana, but the funnel cloud did not touch down.

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UPDATE: The warning has expired.

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CHAMPAIGN — The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Champaign County effective until 8:30 p.m.

According to the agency's Lincoln office, at 7:56 p.m., a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near St. Joseph and about 8 miles south of Rantoul, moving east at 25 mph. Weather spotters have reported a funnel cloud.

Communities that could be affected include St. Joseph, Ogden, Thomasboro, Royal and Flatville.

The weather service advises all those in the path of the storm to take cover now by moving to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and avoiding windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

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