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updated: 2/21/2014 8:14 AM

4 suspected tornadoes hit central Illinois

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Associated Press

MECHANICSBURG -- The National Weather Service says four possible tornadoes touched down in central Illinois, causing minor damage.

Officials with the agency's office in Lincoln say they're reviewing preliminary reports of four twisters that struck Thursday afternoon.

The tornadoes were reported near the Cass County town of Arenzville (AHYR'-ehnz-vihl), about 50 miles west of Springfield; east of Mechanicsburg in Sangamon County; near Pana (PAY'-nuh) in Christian County; and west of Shumway in Effingham County.

The storms reportedly destroyed several outbuildings and snapped utility poles. No injuries were reported.

Meteorologist James Auten says the number of tornadoes could change as scientists review data and storm reports. Surveyors are expected to head to Mechanicsburg and Pana on Friday to review damage firsthand.

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