Washington, Illinois Tornado Aftermath

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my daughter and I went to my old hometown this morning to help with the attempt to salvage things on my cousin’s property, where her house once stood.    Seeing the destruction was unbelievable, to say the least.

To see nearly an entire neighborhood wiped out is tragic, but beyond the tragedy is so much mercy.  Not one person in this neighborhood was killed.  There was one man in town who died, but in viewing the destruction, I would have fully expected many deaths.  God is good.

Family and friends came out to help my cousin and her roommate salvage anything that could be salvaged.  Late in the afternoon, the temperature dropped considerably and rain started falling, so they put tarps over anything that hadn’t been hauled off yet.

Every house on her road is gone.

Their cars were completely buried in rubble, before tractors unburied them.

This is the stairs leading to the basement that saved their lives.

House after house after house…gone.
Houses and belongings can be replace though, but people can’t.  I’m so thankful we aren’t missing people we love.
The weather is supposed to be bad for the next several days, with more potential for tornadoes.  Hopefully, this town has seen the last of destruction and can focus and clean up and rebuilding the areas that were destroyed.

I’m on my way home now – tired, but glad we could go.  My cousins set aside some wood salvaged from broken furniture, in case I can repurpose it.  I hope I can create something lovely with them.



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  1. It breaks my heart to see the devastation. I cried when I saw the stories on the news. I’m glad you got to go but I know it took a lot out of you. I’m keeping everyone in my prayers and I’ll say an extra prayer for your cousin, her family and her community. Sweet hugs my friend.

  2. Oh- Angie- I am so so so sorry for your cousin and EVERYONE that is enduring the effects of this storm. I am praying for the them all- xo Diana

  3. This made my heart swell. I feel so bad for each of them!

  4. I am so glad to hear your cousin is ok and that most weathered the storm unharmed. Your photos I’m sure don’t do justice to the magnitude of destruction we witnessed, but they sure took my breathe away! Praying for your cousin and her town as they rebuild.

  5. So sad. Glad they are okay. I’m sure you will make something beautiful.

  6. It is amazing that more people weren’t killed…such powerful destruction… Sending prayers!

  7. That kind of destruction is mind-blowing. I’m so sorry for your cousin, as well as the neighbors. Glad you were able to go help. Hope you can create something beautiful out of what remains.

  8. Angie- So glad that your family and that neighborhood was spared loss of life. I pray for the family of the man that died. These types of tragedies come without prejudice, don’t they? Glad you were able to help your cousin. What are they doing for housing?
    I can’t imagine this type of ordeal.
    get some rest, ~Pat

  9. Such a heartbreaking thing for your cousin to experience. My thoughts and prayers are with them as they rebuild their lives.

  10. I’m so glad your family (and others) are safe. I am sure seeing it in person is even more striking than the images we see on TV. You are so right……people cannot be replaced….the stores are full of “things” that can.

  11. no one can fully comprehend the damage these tornadoes and Hurricanes can do. Seeing it first hand or living it is the only way to fully understand what the lucky people live through in the aftermath. the media will stop reporting and the world thinks it’s over….but it’s not. Years pass by and humanity is still struggling to recover. I witnessed Hurricane Katrina and we were lucky but the Gulf South is still recovering after all these years. I am so happy your family lived through it…God is Greeat

  12. oh angie…i’m at a loss for words. truly. i can’t imagine their loss. i will keep them all in my constant prayers. so sad.

  13. I’m so glad your family is alive and well. My mom sat for 2 1/2 hours in her basement during the tornado. My God! We truly never know what tomorrow will bring. Thank God for every moment.

  14. I am so thankful that your family is okay. My heart goes out to all those who were affected by this storm (tornado) I agree with Khadija .. YOU never know what tomorrow will bring . Praise GOD your all okay

  15. It is so hard for me to wrap my head around the thought that there is anything able to be salvaged of their belongings. Such destruction.

  16. Your pictures are just heartbreaking. It’s a miracle nobody was hurt.

  17. I am so thankful for the lives saved….praying <3

  18. Thank you for sharing. Traumatic even from afar. Glad they had a basement for safety.

  19. I’m glad you could help, and glad your cousins are not harmed. I think it would be lovely for you to create a new piece for them from one of the damaged pieces! A new beginning…

  20. I am so sorry your your cousins and am so thankful they are alive. Bless you and daughter for going to help them. My aunt had a tragedy in Mississippi and lost her husbands aunt. I am very happy you could be there for your cousin. Blessing to you and family. di

  21. The pictures remind me so much of the devastating tornadoes that hit Oklahoma earlier this year (exactly six months ago!). People talked about not being able to find where their homes once stood. With all the telltale signs such as trees, street signs and, of course, buildings all gone every street looked the same. I’ve lived in Oklahoma almost my entire life and the destruction that happens with instances like this still boggles the mind and breaks your heart. I’m praying for strength and healing for those that who been so tragically affected.

  22. Unbelievable to see the destruction up close and personal. You see things on the news all the time which is hard to fathom but to actually experience it ~ wow. I’m so glad your family is safe. Lifting everyone up in prayer.

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