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East Peoria Reeling after Tornado Hits City

A tornado also ripped through East Peoria around 11:00 am, Sunday. It devastated areas in the south-east edge of the city near Springfield road.
EAST PEORIA - A tornado also ripped through East Peoria around 11:00 am, Sunday.

It devastated areas in the south-east edge of the city near Springfield road.

Neighbors say they're lucky to be alive.

The storm caused major damage to 20 homes in the area.


It all happened around Springfield Road, Pinecrest Drive, Rustic Road, Shady Knolls Drive, Bloomington Road, and in the Shute Elementary School area.

A gloomy Sunday morning turned into total chaos for people in East Peoria.

"I’ve been here 47 years, never had this," says Mary Lou Budke.


“We saw the clouds swirling and saw two tails,” explains East Peoria resident Troy Leiby. “We saw huge amounts of debris blowing. Shingle flying."

“Wind, rain, it looked like snow; everything was blowing everywhere and black," explains Budke.


Once that storm hit, it brought with it extreme devastation. Ripping off roofs, leveling garages, leaving homes scattered across the yard.


“Our shed is gone, garage is gone, her stuff is gone,” says Budke.


It happened faster than anyone could've ever imagined.

"I went back to that end of the house and I heard some glass. We don't have any windows on that end of the house and my husband came back and I said I don't know what to do. And
we just stood in the hallway where there were no windows and held each other. It was that quick," explains Budke.

It left an aftermath no one was ready for.


Joyce Cordle's daughter's home was untouched.



“I feel very fortunate whenever I look around," says Cordle.


She says it's nothing short of a miracle.

She was alone with her grandson and couldn't get to the basement.



“I covered him up with blankets and pillows and starting praying because I could hear my ears just started popping. And I just froze there on the spot,” Cordle says. “God was
looking out for us, cause we were safe.”



Neighbors, a few blocks away, all across the community, echoing that same message. Counting not what they lost on this day, but everything they still have.



"We’re all safe. That's just, this can be repaired. We're safe. Thank God we're safe."


I talked to East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus and East Peoria Police.


They biggest thing they say they need from people right now, is to stay away from these damaged areas if at all possible.



There are still a lot of downed power lines and debris as cleanup efforts start.



               



 



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