Residents of a small northern Illinois farming community that took a direct hit from a tornado are being allowed back into the area to assess the damage.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office says it bused residents into Fairdale at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The National Weather Service says eight tornadoes are confirmed to have roared across northern and central Illinois during Thursday's storms.

The strongest of the tornadoes hit Fairdale, where two people were killed. That tornado also injured 22 people.

The weather service gave it a preliminary rating of an EF-4 with winds of between 180 and 200 mph. It was a half-mile wide and remained on the ground for almost 30 miles.