My heart goes out to all of the tornado victims across Illinois, but the devastation in Coal City hits especially close to home—quite literally. Coal City is where I grew up and spent all of my pre-college years. It’s where I played soccer on the Coal City Coalers boys team, and where I got my first reporting job at the Coal City Courant. It’s where I met the people that are my best friends even to this day, some 20 years later.
My parents still live there today, but the only damage to our property were some downed trees. Luckily for us, the tornado hit on the “other side of the tracks,” but nothing is that far away in a tiny town. (And technically it’s not a town or a city, it’s a village—yes, it’s that small.) Because of it’s size, everyone knows someone who was affected by the tornado.
I contemplated going down to CC (I was actually there on Friday and Saturday), but from all reports, it sounded like the routes into town were blocked by debris or downed power lines. According to the fire department, there were 221 homes in Coal City and Diamond affected by the tornado. My heart is with those families today.Check out the Coal City Courant Facebook page for the latest information about donating food, clothing and other items, or if you’d like to volunteer with the clean-up effort.
(Images: Coal City Courant)