Details Emerge about Harrisburg Tornado
On February 29, abcglobal.com released an article entitled Details Emerge about 6 Killed in Harrisburg Tornado.
Details Emerge about 6 Killed in Harrisburg Tornado
Many communities are just beginning to take stock of the devastation about 24 hours after deadly storms killed at least 12 people across the Midwest.
That includes the downstate city of Harrisburg, Illinois, after a powerful EF4 tornado tore through that town, killing six people. Four women and two men died there. Not all have been publicly identified but of those who have, their ages range from 22 to 75 years old.
The National Weather Service says this storm included peak wind gusts of 180 miles per hour.
The damage was reminiscent of the 2004 tornado that tore through Utica, Ill., near Ottawa. Eight people died in that storm as well.
Sirens went off about a half hour prior to the storms' arrival at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
Governor Pat Quinn toured Harrisburg Wednesday and has declared the region a disaster area.
"Until you see it, it is hard to believe," Quinn said. "It is very important that we help the people of Harrisburg and southern Illinois recover, and that's why I declared it a disaster area. We're having our state resources applied to help the people out."
Quinn said about 100 people or more were injured.
"The property damage is very extensive, and one of the most important things we have to do is calculate that damage," he said. "We want to be filing with the federal government an application for federal disaster relief, but I will say this, the people of southern Illinois, there are so many volunteers, they came from everywhere. They helped their neighbors, and it was really inspiring as they went door to door in some of the residential neighborhoods when they got the warning. It was 27 minutes before 5 a.m. Folks got out of their beds and went knocking on the doors of their neighbors to make sure they were going to safety, and that saved a lot of lives."
Mayor Eric Gregg said he has no doubt that the city is going to rebuild. Quinn said the state is already applying for federal assistance by calculating the damage.
"We had a flood last year there that was very bad. We learned how to do it, and we have to apply those lessons to making sure everyone who has sustained terrible damage from the tornado, and the commercial areas -- that strip mall was utterly obliterated -- it is very important to help our businesses and families recover and get back on their feet," Quinn said.
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