Tornadoes in Illinois – Part III: The “Barbie House” and an identified role for Extension

In spite of a drenching rain, debris removal continued apace today.  Too fast in some cases.  Gas lines and sewer lines must be capped for demolition  Not sure that is always happening.  Most electricity that can be restored has been…just 4 homes left.  They are doing a test fill of the water tower tomorrow.  It was in path of the storm.  Could be interesting.  Moving to a Resource Center concept at a local church tomorrow.

Last night a local TV reporter told me he had interviewed some kids at a day are in a nearby town.  One girl told him that they hid in a crawlspace and when they came out, the neighbor’s house looked like a “Barbie House.”   I looked up today and not 400 yards from our media staging area I saw what she meant.

Barbie House
The second floor of this house is partially exposed…just like in a Barbie House.

The mention of daycare brings me to the second concrete area where Extension could play a role.  Our county director told me early this evening that several daycare providers in Gifford are out of business because of the storm damage.  Extension is exploring how to help short and long term.  That seems like a role with which many offices would be comfortable in any disaster where the daycares are out of commission.  I’ll let you know what they decide.

Our unit that includes the badly damaged town of Washington I described in an earlier post is continuing with their planning.  To that end, one staff member has been named the coordinator of that effort, charged with pulling all of the program areas together in a cohesive response.  We’ll report more on that later as well.

Written on November 21.
Check back Thursday for part four of the Tornadoes in Illinois series.