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Local

Coal City clearing up after tornado

Village officials expect all debris removed by Wednesday

An excavator loads a tractor-trailer with yard debris and branches Monday while helping clear the streets of Coal City. City officials expect debris to cleaned up by end of day Wednesday. This debris does not include personnel items though.
An excavator loads a tractor-trailer with yard debris and branches Monday while helping clear the streets of Coal City. City officials expect debris to cleaned up by end of day Wednesday. This debris does not include personnel items though.

COAL CITY – Workers have swept away much of the debris caused by the Coal City tornado last week and village officials expect the rest to be done by the end of Wednesday.

Coal City Mayor Terry Halliday said the village has more than 100 pieces of equipment active in 13 zones to clean up debris left over from the EF3 tornado that either destroyed or damaged more than 800 properties in Coal City. 

Halliday said teams Tuesday were checking off streets they cleared of debris. He anticipated 60 percent of the village would be cleared by the end of Tuesday and the entire village by the end of Wednesday. Debris does not include personal items, he said.

“The town is looking a lot better and we made a big, big dent in our debris removal,” Halliday said.

Thousands of volunteers began work in Coal City on Friday and their efforts will continue the rest of the week under the coordination of Team Rubicon, an international nonprofit disaster response organization. The organization routinely responds to tornado disaster emergencies.

Team Rubicon volunteers conducted damage assessment and debris removal at the request of Coal City officials and Grundy County Emergency Management Agency, according to a Monday news release.

Their volunteers arrived from several states to conduct “Operation: Crazy Train,” where they will run chainsaw operations, demolitions, debris removal and other activities. 

“Given the size and the severity of the tornado, this is nothing out of the ordinary. All the pieces are coming together nice and we’re getting out there to work,” said William Porter, Team Rubicon incident commander.

Residents throughout Illinois and several states have been donating to the Community Foundation of Grundy County tornado disaster relief fund. About $46,000 has been collected thus far, according to foundation records. 

Waiver for vital,
homeowner land records

Grundy County Clerk Kay Olson announced temporary waiver of fees for replacement of certified copies of vital records, as well as homeowner land records, for those affected by the tornado. 

According to a news release, residents who lost records in the storm may obtain a replacement certified copy of birth, marriage or death certificates at the Clerk’s Office, Room 12 in the Grundy County Courthouse, 111 E. Washington St., Morris.

The waiver will remain in effect through Sept. 30. 

County officials said tornado victims should bring photo identification or other documents demonstrating their home address. 

Residents should contact the Grundy County Clerk’s office at 815-941-3222 or at kolson@grundyco.org. 

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HOW TO HELP

• People who want to donate items or find ways to help Coal City residents should call 815-518-3047. They can also still donate money to the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

• People should also check Coal City Methodist Church Facebook page for list of needed donation items. They should also call 815-634-8670 to check if they need any volunteers.

• The Grundy County Chamber of Commerce, 909 N. Liberty St., Morris, is accepting items found blown into yards that may belong to residents affected by the tornado.

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