tornado cameron illinois
© Twitter/Kholby Martin Damage in Cameron, Illinois, after a tornado slammed the town during severe thunderstorms on Thursday, July 16, 2015.
Tornadoes carved through the towns of Cameron and Delavan, Illinois, Thursday night, causing significant damage and injuries.

On Friday, the National Weather Service gave the tornadoes preliminary ratings of EF-2 on the Enhanced Fugita Scale.

The tornado that hit Delavan touched down without warning, the National Weather Service said. Tornado sirens were silenced in mere seconds after power was cut off to the town.

Fifty-one homes were damaged during the brief touchdown in Delavan, and reports indicate six of the homes were a total loss. At least two people were injured.

At least 50 homes sustained some level of damage in the town, Galesburg, Illinois, Fire Chief Tom Simkins told the Galesburg Register-Mail. The Illinois State police said that there were no reports of deaths or serious injuries. although one person sustained a minor injury.

Access to the town was blocked off to everyone but emergency responders as crews conducted search and rescue efforts overnight.

Cameron resident Mike Trout, 50, took refuge in his basement during the twister and said all he could hear was the roaring and windows breaking. Every window in his house was shattered and a 2-by-6-inch piece of lumber pierced through a wall of his home.

"I lived in this town in 1989 when the last tornado touched down," he told the Galesburg Register-Mail. "The damage this time is far, far worse; 1989 doesn't even compare to this."

The tornado hit Cameron, Illinois, at roughly 7:30 local time.
 Cameron Illinois tornado damage
© Chad Johnson/CBS Chicago Cameron, Illinois tornado damage.
"Severe thunderstorms were predicted in the area, but this particular storm appeared to be in a sweet spot where the air was extremely unstable and there was a bit of extra spin in the atmosphere thanks to a weak warm front," said senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.

In response to the situation, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center. A shelter was opened at United High School near the town of Monmouth, Illinois, the Associated Press reports.

Thousands remained without power in Warren County Illinois after the storms. There were nine reports of tornadoes during Thursday's severe weather.

The National Weather Service will be conducting surveys to verify and rate the reported tornado damage in those areas.