A Tornado Watch was in effect until 7 p.m. for areas from Peoria to Champaign and southward. A Tornado Warning was in effect for DeWitt and McLean counties until 7:15 p.m.
Social media users posted tornado videos from Litchfield and Butler. The severe weather hit the area in the late afternoon and early evening.
In Taylorville, non-resident traffic is asked to avoid the town due to severe storm damage and closed roads, according to the Illinois State Police. All residents are urged to stay in their homes.
In Christian County, emergency management officials said authorities were responding to reports in Taylorville of multiple people trapped due to storm damage.
Taylorville is about three hours and 15 minutes from Chicago.
No fatalities or life-threatening injuries were immediately reported.
None of the severe storms are expected to reach the Chicago area, but showers and storms will move in Saturday night.
Gov. Bruce Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield in response to severe weather.
"We activated the State Emergency Operations Center so that we could closely monitor the situation, keep in contact with local officials and quickly mobilize any state assets that may be needed," Rauner said in a statement. "If state assistance is need, we are well-positioned to provide it quickly and efficiently."
For updates on the situation, visit: www.ready.illinois.gov