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In time of need, community comes together

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

It seems Mother Nature never ceases to amaze with her ferocity.

Her latest fury was unleashed Sunday, when severe storms and tornadoes ravaged the Midwest.

Coal City and Diamond were among the many communities in Illinois hit by a tornado, which left a 12-mile path of wreckage and debris as proof that something powerful blew through Grundy County.

When the winds subsided and the rain stopped, four were injured, more than 100 buildings were damaged, trees were uprooted and power lines were dangling. The winds were so strong throughout the state, paperwork and photos from Washington, Ill., were found in Morris.

Emergency crews rushed to help. Neighbors came out of basements and offered to dig through debris to help those hit the hardest. People not affected by the storm immediately started asking how they could help and offered to donate clothing, food and shelter.

On Monday, relief efforts continued in earnest. There are many ways to offer assistance, and we encourage you to check out Page 7 for a list of what efforts we are aware of. We will continue to provide that information in print and online as we learn of it.

The tornado left a path of destruction. And we know there are holes – both to structures and to many people’s hearts, minds and lives – that need to patched and made whole again in the coming days and weeks.

But it also left a sense of community and pride, that we live and work in a place where prayers and help are offered – without a second thought, by total strangers no less – when you need it most.

In a time when the most prominent thing we are seeing is destruction, it’s comforting to know that our souls are being taken care of by our neighbors.

We commend those who have pitched in so far, as well as those who will do so in the future. Recovery and clean up efforts will take months, not days, but we’re sure the helping spirit of this community will continue to come through for our neighbors in need.

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