FORRESTON, Ill. (WTVO) – Residents of Forreston say they’re finding help from family, friends, and neighbors as they continue to clean up their homes following last night’s storms.
Monday’s storm caused widespread structural damage to buildings over 13 blocks, and toppled trees and power lines over 41 blocks.
ComEd said they will begin to work to repair downed power lines on Tuesday, but had no estimated time as to when service would be restored.
“Unfortunately when something like this happens and you’re without power–the rumor mill starts going and escalates. [ComEd] hasn’t given us a certain time and I’m not saying that [being out of power for a week] isn’t a possibility but i’m hoping it will be a lot sooner than that,” said Village President Mark Metzger.
“There was zero warning,” said resident Joe Miller. “My wife was sitting at the table and she heard something and looked out the window and all the pine trees in the front yard were gone. And by the time she got the dogs and the girls rounded up to the basement, it was already over.”
Miller has lived in the area his whole life and says last night was the worst storm he’s seen in more than 20 years.
After half the trees in his yard uprooted during the highspeed winds, family and friends stepped up to help.
“I didn’t call anybody. When I got home from work last night, everybody was already here with skid loaders and trailers and chainsaws, ready to work. So, we feel very blessed,” he said.
Amy Chamberlin and her husband took the day off of work to help some of their neighbors with the cleanup process.
They live in Forreston too, but say damage was minor at their house.
They felt it was more important to help others who needed more support.
“We’ve gone through a lot in the past, and this community knows how to pull together when they need to. So, I can see it, and I already hear it now,” she said. “My phone’s already blowing up with people saying ‘hey, I’m on this street, are you helping out? Please call me, let me know if you need help.’”
Volunteers from several community organizations also spent the day in Forreston to lend a hand.
Members of the Salvation Army handed out food and drinks, while Rhonda Myers credits a crew from the Christian Aid Ministries with helping her clear her yard.
“This was all branches, and there was a half tree down in the backyard for the neighbors. And within thirty minutes I think they had it all cleared up. Raked and everything. It was awesome,” Myers said.
The Red Cross is also offering shelter and other essentials to people who were displaced by the storm.
The Village of Forreston is also enforcing a curfew of 8:30 p.m. “for the safety of residents.”
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