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Tornadoes damage communities in north-central Illinois

Posted: March 2 2017 at 12:00 AM

Deadly tornadoes and strong thunderstorms wreaked havoc in parts of north-central Illinois during the evening of Feb. 28. The communities of Ottawa and Naplate in LaSalle County were hardest hit with dozens of homes and structures damaged. Authorities say two people were killed by a falling tree.

All three UM churches in Ottawa (First, Epworth and Evangelical) did not sustain any damage – amazingly as the EF3 tornado touched down just two blocks from First UMC’s parsonage.

Epworth remained without electricity Wednesday forcing the church to cancel Ash Wednesday’s services and supper. By Thursday the power had been restored but phone lines were still down. Officials are requesting people to stay off the roads in the area as clean up continues.

NIC Disaster Response Coordinator Christine Vosteen says Emergency officials report that there are no requests for volunteers or donations at this time in order to give local responders time to assess the damage and needs.

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Photo credit: Timothy Horstman

For those who would like to make a monetary donation, you can contribute to the NIC Advance for Disaster Response. Checks can be made out to Northern Illinois Conference, memo: Advance #50000148

 Mail to:
Northern Illinois Conference
PO Box 5646
Carol Stream, IL 60197-5646

Please also continue to pray for the communities affected and their long-term recovery efforts. For the latest updates and information on how you can help, visit the NIC Disaster Response Facebook page.

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