With neighborhoods in Naperville devastated by tornado, neighbors gather one night later to help each other – CBS Chicago
NAPERVILLE, Illinois (CBS) – Naperville was one of the hardest hit communities in the biggest tornado to hit the Chicago area late Sunday night.
One night later, as CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, many rolled up their sleeves to help those who needed it most. It wasn’t a meeting under the most favorable circumstances, but residents said if there was a silver lining, it was this – knowing that there were still some good people.
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“A neighbor I don’t know shows up with a chainsaw and says, ‘I’m going to stay here until I run out of gas,’ Linda Heller said.
Upon arriving in Naperville, Terry encountered many people shaking their heads in disbelief at the devastation – with tree branches piled up and houses barricaded after being cleared off one side of a street while the houses were completely unaffected on the other side. One light pole was even left bent more than 90 degrees from its original vertical position.
Indeed, the path of destruction was evident, but the resilience of the community was eclipsed.
“I feel like you get to know your community when you need to,” Heller said.
Tornado EF-3 destroyed 22 homes – completely leveling one – and damaged more than 100.
“I feel like we got lucky – because the neighborhood right across the street is total devastation,” said Steve Siannis.
There’s a reason Siannis feels lucky. Her Ring Doorbell Camera showed how fast the rain was moving across her patio – and within seconds the winds started blowing it all.
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“I’ve probably heard it 20 times already and it still gives me goosebumps – just listening to pure force sounds,” he said.
Siannis shivers when he realizes how close danger is to hitting his family.
“As soon as I heard the sirens, I got up, I looked outside, I woke my wife, I grabbed the kids – I don’t even think we reached the basement until we were. ‘hear the hissing and screaming in the house, ”he said. mentionned. “Honestly, everyone said it looked like a train. It really looked like a passing train.
The EF-3 winds also uprooted Leslie Hayward’s aft deck and lifted the concrete. A heavy tree that once provided shade has collapsed.
“Kind of a shock,” she said. “But I feel so blessed – so lucky that the tree left this way.”
He crashed far from home.
“It would have taken away the kitchen and the bedrooms,” said Hayward.
Looking at the damage on his block and knowing the reality that some families are left with nothing really illustrates how important warning sirens are in seeking shelter.
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“Heed the warning,” Siannis said. “Don’t take it for granted. It’s not worth the shot.”