WASHINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — As downstate Washington continues to recover from the tornado, winter weather that has descended on the region has been delaying reconstruction efforts.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, two hours after the tornado hit Washington, Ald. Tyler Gee was going block to block, assessing the damage.
“Walking through the neighborhoods and I couldn’t even tell what street I was on; just completely flattened,” he said.
On Monday, he described the ongoing recovery as “organized chaos.”
“It’s extra-bad because the tornado hit in November, and we’re out of the building season right now,” he said. “And with the holidays, it’s going to be hard on everybody, with the holidays especially. Thanksgiving and Christmas, and all these residents don’t have homes to celebrate the holidays in.”
He said the weather means real reconstruction will be delayed for hundreds of families.
“They’ll do minor patchwork but the major brunt of the building and new homes will be possibly pushed to next year, with weather moving in and snow and whatever else,” Gee said.
Gee said the town of Washington has been “overwhelmed with donations.”
“It brings tears to your eyes,” he said.
One person died in the Washington tornado.
There were scores of injuries, including Gee’s great-grandmother – age 92 – who spent a day in the hospital because of a concussion.
However, for the most part, Gee said Washington was fortunate.
“I’ll say somebody was looking out for all of us,” he said.