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Grundy County declared a state disaster area

West Tobacco Shop was one of hundreds of buildings damaged by Sunday's tornado.
West Tobacco Shop was one of hundreds of buildings damaged by Sunday's tornado.
How to help

DIAMOND – Gov. Pat Quinn has declared Grundy County a disaster area and is scheduled to visit Diamond this afternoon to examine the damage done by Sunday's tornado.

Emergency responders were spending Monday morning putting a plan in place to do damage assessments in the area, said Nick Doerfler, spokesman for the Coal City Fire Protection District.

No fatalities have occurred in Grundy County and four people were injured after Sunday’s tornado in the Diamond-Coal City area.

“Most roads have opened back up, but 113 from I-55 to Fifth Avenue is closed and Spring Road is still closed. We are going out doing damage assessments," Doerfler said.

Doerfler said three of the four injuries were at a farm house at Berta and Spring roads.

As of yesterday, Doerfler said about 100 residences and commercial businesses were damaged by the tornado. Damage estimates are still being determined.

Diamond Mayor Terry Kernc said residents are encouraged to take video and photographs of their damage and after it's well documented, put debris and trash on the parkway so it can be picked up.

She also is advising homeowners that as they start talking to contractors, make sure those companies are registered with the village and have insurance.

"We want to make sure we do the best job so no one can get taken advantage of," she said.

Diamond Village Hall is open to anyone who needs to use the phone, fax or make copies. Cleaning supplies, donated by Granger, also are available there.

Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of ComEd, was in Grundy County on Monday morning. She said there were still about 130 homes in the Coal City-Diamond area without power. ComEd has 25 to 30 people in the area working, she said, as the address the 70 poles down throughout the area. Then hope is to have power restored by Tuesday, she said, even if it's through temporary methods at first.

Grundy is one of seven counties in the state declared disaster areas. Jim Lutz of the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency said the declaration allows for Grundy to get state resources, but it does not provide financial assistance.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Coal City High School and is taking volunteers there as well. Coal City Methodist Church is taking donations of clothing, food, and supplies for victims. Those wishing to volunteer are asked to report to the high school.

School for Coal City Community Unit 1 School District was canceled today due to the Illinois Central School Bus barn being extremely damaged by the tornado and not having enough buses for transportation for school. The district's schools are set to open Tuesday.

An account has been formed at Mazon State Bank in Coal City for those who want to donate financially. Diamond Village Hall also has donated cleaning supplies available and Diamond Mayor Terry Kernc told WGN news Monday morning. asked those in need of assistance to report to village hall.

“I definitely think God was watching over us yesterday,” Kernc said.

Residents of Diamond Estates are being granted access into the subdivision, but authorities are controlling traffic in there, Sheriff Kevin Callahan said.

“Residents are allowed in there or people coming in to help and we are providing extra security for people and property,” he said.

A curfew was put on the subdivision Sunday night and the Sheriff said he will be talking with Mayor Terry Kernc to see if this is needed again tonight.

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