“Faced with adversity,
I will persevere.”
Jessica here, reporting for my first day of my 4th term, and what a day it has been! I am a Pekin resident and experienced the F4 tornado that touched down numerous times in my town, early Sunday afternoon. Ten years ago in 2003, the tornado took a similar path that it did yesterday. The image above was taken at the apartment complex across the street from my son’s daycare, a street away from my Mom’s house. I lived opposite end of town and knew the storm was bad when the lights flickered on and off and the tv was going out. I was huddled in my bath tub with my seven year old son, just hoping and praying as we live in an apartment without basement or ground floor to seek shelter in. My mother came to rescue us,driving us to her home, as the funnel was over the high school, but not on the ground at that point. However, like the image above, it was pure white against the dark sky. Eerily enough, there was a rainbow in the sky. the tornado touched down again, opposite of court street from where I live. The tornado touched down again in East Peoria, then to Washington, then went north, hitting Towanda, hitting many more times yesterday.
The force of the wind blew my mother’s locked front and back door open, as well as blew everything in the fire place out. When I went home later that day, I discovered that parts of my roof that were missing. Luckily, Mom and I still have a place to live and no one was hurt. Unfortunately, my on site supervisor and her husband lost their home in Washington as it swept through their town.
This is all very surreal knowing we started the week with a half inch of snow that fell on Monday and stuck around til Tuesday, for it to get up to 70 degrees on Sunday. After the storm, within minutes, the temperate dropped 20 degrees down to normal seasonal temperature. I spent the rest of the day holding my son a little bit tighter.
Driving out of Pekin on the North side was heartbreaking seeing damaged homes. Unbelievable. Today, we are playing it by ear to see what we can do in response to the tornado, but I her the gas leak is still a problem. I’ve heard from a friend that is a registered Red Cross volunteer, that baby items are in need, especially diapers! We will keep you posted.
Be well and get things done! -Jessica