IL Tornadoes Leave Devastation in Wake - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

IL Tornadoes Leave Devastation in Wake

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Photo courtesy: Nathan Retherford Photo courtesy: Nathan Retherford

More than 60 tornado touchdowns were reported in the Midwest on Sunday. At least five deaths in Illinois are being blamed on the storms, including one in Washington, Illinois.

Even seeing the damage, it's hard to make sense of it all.

The Fox 18 news crew on scene Sunday described the devastation is "astounding".

All over in the Washington area, homes were leveled, power lines downed, debris strewn everywhere.

One family we talked to said their uncle was dead after the tornado destroyed his house and threw him about a hundred yards.

Nearly 30 other people were injured, according to local authorities.

At least 19 different departments responded from around Washington to help with relief and recovery efforts. It's clear from looking at the damage that recovery effort is going to be an enormous task.

People we talked to in the area say they're in shock, and that it's hard to believe what they're seeing is real.

Nathan Retherford, an EMT in Washington, tells us you can see a clear path through town where the tornado barreled through.

But, he says, people there seem to have a sense that they will recover, and they're thinking about what comes next:

"From here on out I think it will be trying to figure out where everything is supposed to be, getting everybody put somewhere else because their houses are gone. They need to find somewhere else to go," Retherford said, speaking to us by phone from Washington.

Local agencies say as of Sunday evening, Washington is pretty much on lock down. Access to the city is limited to people with proof of residency, aid workers, and law enforcement.

One fireman told us that there had already been some problems with looting, and people walking on the streets without an explanation were being arrested.

Two Quad Cities American Red Cross volunteers left for central Illinois Sunday afternoon with the Emergency Response Vehicle to help with damage created by the tornadoes.

Four more Red Cross volunteers will be deploying Monday morning.


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