What A Difference A Year Makes
I remember it was this weekend one year ago temperatures reached the mid 60s, a far cry from the 20s we're experiencing now On November 17, 2013, a strong cold front moved through the region. There were sporadic reports of wind damage, but a more horrible scene was playing out just to our south.
The state of Illinois was ravaged by two dozen tornadoes that day. It was part of a much bigger system. In fact 75 tornadoes touched down from the Midwest to the South. Eight people died in the Land of Lincoln alone.
Some of the worst damage happened in Washington, just outside of Peoria. An EF4 tornado with winds approaching 200 mph ripped the town apart, destroying 750 homes. I traveled to this location almost immediately after the twister struck and did a series of reports the next day. I even returned for the six month anniversary.
The area is now in the midst of a huge rebuilding effort. It's estimated at least a quarter of the ruined homes have been rebuilt. This doesn't surprise me. You could tell the resiliency of the people living there just by talking with them.