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Photos: Diamond And Coal City Rebuild From Sunday's Tornadoes

By aaroncynic in News on Nov 22, 2013 2:30PM

The National Weather Service determined that last Sunday’s storms brought a total of 16 tornadoes to Illinois and Indiana, according to the Chicago Tribune. One of the strongest to hit was in the town of Washington near Peoria, where an EF-4 carved a path through 46 miles across two counties. One person was killed and some 500 homes were damaged. Gov. Pat Quinn declared declared Fayette and Vermilion counties disaster areas, bringing the total to 15.

A trio of EF-2 tornadoes with winds ranging from 111 to 135 mph cut through the towns of Manhattan, Coal City and Frankfort. Coal City was the hardest hit among the three and saw a 13-mile path of destruction.

Photographer and Chicagoist Photos Flickr pool contributor Justin Carlson took a trip down to Coal City and nearby Diamond, Ill. on Wednesday to see the damage of the storms firsthand. While the area wasn’t as devastated as Washington, the signs of destruction are no less obvious. “You get off the freeway and drive into town and there’s spots of isolated destruction”,” said Carlson. “Some sides of the road are perfectly fine, some are destroyed. Driving into a couple of the subdivisions there were houses with tarps on the roof, some perfectly fine, some completely destroyed.”

According to ABC7, at least 220 homes in Diamond suffered damage, 75 of which were hit severely. Area residents have been continuing clean up efforts since the damage with the help of an outpouring of support from communities statewide. On Tuesday, several Chicago Bears joined volunteers cleaning up debris in Diamond and workers from Plainfield Park District's maintenance department brought equipment to Coal City. Carlson said he saw several buses bringing volunteers to the area as the day went on. “It seems like they’re trying hard to get everything back to normal but I think it’ll take some time.”