Cities done with storm cleanup, but residents face long road

Cities done with storm cleanup, but residents face long road

CHAMPAIGN — It's been more than two weeks since the National Weather Service determined that two EF-0 tornadoes touched down in southwest Champaign, and though they lasted less than a minute each, residents are facing years of damage control.

"We wrapped everything up on Wednesday," said Kris Koester, spokesman for the Champaign Public Works Department. "There are a couple of trees that need to come down, but other than that, we're pretty much done."

The first tornado touched down along the 4500 block of Copper Ridge Road, damaging two houses and many roofs before dissipating.

Sylvia Mise, who owns one of the damaged homes, said it has been left with damage that may not be covered by insurance.

"Nothing here has been fixed yet," she said. "We have one wall that completely imploded. It's not fixed now and will probably take a very long time, depending on how well our insurance company works with us."

Despite that, though, Mize said she considers herself lucky to be alive.

After the storms that spawned the weak tornadoes blew through, Mattoon's Legacy Roofing & Restoration provided free help for homes that needed emergency repairs.

Owner Kayleb Burritt said that although he cannot provide free services for every home, he would be happy to fix someone's roof if their insurance did not cover it or they were financially limited.

The second tornado came right after the first as the storms crossed Interstate 57 near Duncan Road and Rolling Acres Drive, leaving much lighter damage in its wake.

Rolling Acres subdivision resident Steve Vickers said most of the debris left behind has been cleaned up by Champaign Township, eliminating most of the tedious labor for locals.

Despite some trees in his backyard, he said his house was not damaged.

"We had a ton of tree damage, but I had it cleaned up within 24 hours," Vickers said. "The township was good enough to tell us if we dragged it out to the street, they would come to pick it up."

Vickers said the house that got hit the worst in his neighborhood only lost a swing set.

"People from the township were outside right after the storm had happened," he said. "The next morning, they started working right away. You couldn't even tell there was a tornado here."

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