TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Survivors of a rare December tornado that injured more than two dozen people in a central Illinois city say that two weeks after the storm, they are struggling but grateful for the kindness they’ve been shown in the aftermath.
More than 25 people were injured in Taylorville— population 11,000, reported The State Journal-Register . It was part of a tornado outbreak that swept the central U.S. and killed one person in Missouri.
The Dec. 1 tornado that struck Taylorville was marked as an EF-3 storm, which has winds between 136 and 165 mph. The storm destroyed 32 homes and businesses in the city and parts of Christian County. Mike Crews, Christian County emergency management director, said that 104 other structures sustained major damage and 559 were affected to a lesser extent.
Tiffani Bailey is a 39-year-old working-class woman who lives in Hewittville, one of the affected areas, with her 67-year-old mother and 9-year-old son.
Though she is grateful for all of the donations and kind treatment she’s received, the fact that she and her family survived with a few broken ribs, cuts and bruises is the best thing.
“God’s got us,” she said. “We have life, we’re living, and we’re breathing.”
Randy Crowder, 58, is one of Bailey’s neighbors. From the door of his concrete shelter, he could see the tornado’s winds pick up her home — with her and her family inside— and send it tumbling.
“It probably flipped five times,” said Crowder. “I thought they were goners.”
The family’s seven dogs and pet parrot, J.J., also survived.