Andre Heath


Published on Nov 19, 2013

The CELESTIAL Convergence | http://thecelestialconvergence.blogsp…

November 19, 2013 – UNITED STATES – Stunned residents across the Midwest picked through the wreckage of what used to be their homes on Monday after a fierce storm system swept across six states, spawned nearly 60 reported tornadoes and killed at least eight people. From the air, large areas of the devastated city of Washington, Ill., looked like a moonscape as the vastness of the devastation was exposed.

Even large electrical towers made of steel lay on the ground, twisted like pretzels. The storm system tore the steeple off a church 10 minutes after Mass let out and even forced the Chicago Bears to stop their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Jeff Ekena, Principal of John L. Hensey Elementary in Washington said he hunkered down in the basement with his family when the storm came through sounding “like a freight train.” The Ekenas emerged to find “just flatness,” and then the destruction beyond, he said. “Nobody has anything left,” Nancy Rampy, of Washington, Ill., told NBC Chicago. “It’s all gone. It’s just awful.” Guida Scheer, owner of one of the destroyed homes, sifted through the rubble and pulled out a Bible. “It was my boyfriend’s Bible,” she said. “It was actually his dad’s and that was one of the things that he wanted to make sure that we tried to find.”

“I’ve found pieces of my house 100 yards northeast of me,” Scott Gundy, another resident of Washington, where one person died, told TODAY. “I got the most important things out, which were pictures, video of my kids growing up,” he said. “To me that’s the most important thing. Everything else can be replaced.” The mayor of Washington, Gary Manier, said the devastation there was “unbelievable.” He said that 250 to 500 houses were destroyed in Washington, a city of about 15,000 people. The National Weather Service rated the tornado that ripped through the area an EF-4 — a notch down from most intense rating — with wind speeds ranging from 170 to 190 mph. Andrea Bowers said she and her husband and their 3-month-old daughter took shelter in the basement of their Washington home. The couple used their bodies to cover their baby and protect her from falling debris. “Everything just started falling in and we just kind of rode it out and just prayed,” she said. Ryan Bowers said they were all unharmed , and that his wife and daughter even fell sleep during the storm.

Schools were closed in Washington on Monday, and churches and community groups also canceled events as the focus turned to recovery efforts and helping victims. The Red Cross opened a shelter, and mental health experts were on hand. Earlier, people who had left and were trying to come back were turned away by police because of concerns about unstable buildings, and other lurking dangers. “There’s a lot of power lines down a lot of power lines that could still be alive. There’s gas leaks all over the place. So it is still a very dangerous situation,” Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce told NBC station WEEK TV. Later, many of Washington’s residents, including members of the high school football team, went to the destroyed areas to pitch and help those whose homes were destroyed. “Hopefully, we can grow strong as a community together and jet get over it,” said one of the football players, Nathan Barker. The National Weather Service said there were 81 reported tornadoes from the system on Sunday. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties disaster areas. He said that dozens of people were hurt.



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