Story Summary

Tornado outbreak – November 2013

At least 14 tornadoes struck Illinois and northwest Indiana on Sunday, November 17, 2013.

Click here for details from the Chicago Tribune.

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Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown has an emotional discussion about his family still living in Washington, IL, one of the towns hit worst by the recent tornadoes.


To donate to Illinois Tornado Relief Day, click here, call 1-800-931-5707, or Mail a check payable to:Illinois Tornado Relief, McCormick Foundation Processing Center, 23912 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1239.

The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation, will support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the storms. The Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar. All administrative costs are paid by the foundation and its partners, allowing 100% of all money raised, including the match, to be granted directly to the nonprofit agencies.  The first round of grants will distributed by the end of 2013. Fundraising for this effort will continue through December 31, 2013. Only monetary donations are accepted. In kind gifts, such as water, supplies, etc. cannot be accepted.

Jenifer Elliott, Coal City resident and tornado survivor, shares her story of what happened on Nov 17th.

Coal City Tornado

WGN Radio Reporter Kim Gordon shares her  stories of Washington, IL in the aftermath of the tornado.


Storm damage in Washington, IL (Kim Gordon / WGN Radio)

Nearly ten days after a tornado damaged parts of Manhattan, IL, work continues to clean up the damage. Meanwhile, downtown, life goes on and the town prepares for the holiday season. Photos by Andrea Darlas.

Laura Ruff, a volunteer at the Morton Public Library, talks about ongoing efforts to reunite Tornado survivors with missing photos and other items.

Morton Public Library in Morton, IL has a large collection of found pictures. For the address and hours, visit their website here.

There is also a facebook group with photos of found pictures & items. Visit the page here.

Click here to donate to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort!


Debris in Washington, IL (Kim Gordon / WGN Radio)


Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan discusses her office’s investigations in to tornado relief scams.


Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

Nick Doerfler, Lieutenant  and Public Information Officer for the Coal City Fire Dept, joins Bill and Wendy to describe how the first responders in Coal City helped in the aftermath of the Nov 17th tornadoes.

Raw: Damage in Coal City

Along with all of the listeners’ generous donations, we had several companies on-air today who were big contributors to the campaign. These are: Tom Buddig of Buddig Meats, Tim Condon from Schafer, Condon & Carter, Dr. Kevin Most from Cadence Health, Kathy Cummings from Medline, Roger Germann of the Shedd Aquarium,  and CEO David Hiller of the McCormick Foundation. Hear all of their spots below.

Click here to donate to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort!


Steve and the morning crew talk to Beth Verdun, a woman in Homer Glen who found a photo of tornado survivor Josie Wells. The miraculous part is that Beth lives 125 miles away from the Wells household.

Click here to donate to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort!


Aftermath of the severe tornado damage a large portion of Washington, Illinois near Peoria on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)