Illinois tornado victims continue cleanup as potentially severe weather looms

EMBED </>More Videos

Tornado victims in Coal City are just beginning to recover from one of the nine tornadoes that caused destruction in north central Illinois. (WLS)

Tornado cleanup is underway in Coal City as residents brace for another round of storms that could become severe.

"We've got a lot of work to do. But I think we have a good plan in place," Coal City Mayor Terry Halliday said Wednesday. He hopes the weather will hold.

Storm systems moving east could bring high winds and heavy rain to the area Wednesday night into Thursday morning, ABC7 Meteorologist Phil Schawrz said.

Homeowners and village officials are concerned about what another bout of storms will do to the progress they have made in the last 24 hours.

"All the debris that's out here that's piled up - everybody worked so hard yesterday getting done - to have come in here and blow apart again and start over again tomorrow morning would be really discouraging," said Lance Coper, who lives in Coal City.

Halliday said eight public works crews from seven neighboring communities are helping homeowners clean up on Wednesday. Some lawns that were covered in debris on Tuesday were nearly clear on Wednesday, and the walls and windows on many homes were patched up.

"We talked to our insurance companies and then figured out, 'Let's just start clearing out what we can.' Then after we got our area in shape we helped the neighbors across the street," homeowner Pat Halloran said.

The mayor reminded residents to document damage to their homes carefully, to provide photos and detailed descriptions for insurance purposes.

The National Weather Service said the tornado that hit Coal City was an EF-3. It was one of nine tornadoes that touched down in north central Illinois Monday night.

Around 60,000 ComEd customers lost power during the storm. Electricity has been restored to about 90 percent of those customers. ComEd's Jeff Hettrick said crews hope to have power restored by 6 p.m. Wednesday, before any storms hit.

The storm brought heavy rainfall, which flooded many streets in Coal City. Some of the standing water was knee-deep. The mayor said crews are working to clear clogged drains, to give any rain that falls overnight somewhere to go and avoid additional flooding.

Residents are the only people being allowed into the most heavily damaged areas of Coal City. Contractors must register at the village hall. Guests must be escorted.

Coal City Village Administrator Matt Fritz said the first planned volunteer events will begin on Friday.

Anyone who wants to help should call (815) 518-3047. The tornado call center will put volunteers in contact with residents who need help.

PHOTOS: Tornado, storm damage reported across Chicago area
Related Topics:
weathersevere weatherstormhailwind damagetornadou.s. & worldCoal CityGrundy CountyIllinois
(Copyright ©2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

More u.s. & world

More Weather

Top Stories
Show More