Breaking News Bar
updated: 11/19/2013 5:06 AM

Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit helps in tornado-damaged Coal City area

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Jim Dexter, interim director of the Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit, inspects the gas line of a restaurant in Diamond, where a tornado caused damage Sunday afternoon. The unit was deployed Sunday to help first responders in the tornado-damaged community.

      Jim Dexter, interim director of the Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit, inspects the gas line of a restaurant in Diamond, where a tornado caused damage Sunday afternoon. The unit was deployed Sunday to help first responders in the tornado-damaged community.
    courtesy of Hanover Township

  • Volunteers from the Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit set up a lighting tower near Coal City, Ill., Sunday. The unit was deployed Sunday to help first responders in the tornado-damaged community.

      Volunteers from the Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit set up a lighting tower near Coal City, Ill., Sunday. The unit was deployed Sunday to help first responders in the tornado-damaged community.
    courtesy of Hanover Township

 
 

Volunteers from the Hanover Township Emergency Services Unit responded to a request Sunday from Will County to assist with lighting and scene security in the Diamond and Coal City, Ill., area after a tornado caused destruction there.

National Weather Service storm damage survey teams have confirmed EF-2 tornado damage near Coal City, which is nearly 70 miles south of Hanover Township.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Seven volunteers hopped into four township vehicles about 4 p.m. and arrived in the area of Route 133 and Interstate 55 as it was starting to get dark, said James Dexter, the unit's interim chief.

Dexter said the emergency services unit deploys to emergency sites when asked by local authorities, as was the case earlier this year after a train derailment in Bartlett.

"We were very surprised we were contacted (Sunday)," he said. "But everyone was ready to go."

There was obvious destruction everywhere, from a destroyed pump at an otherwise intact Shell gas station to a pile of damaged RVs in what appeared to be a sales lot, Dexter said.

"They incurred some heavy wind damage," he said, adding that emergency crews from Plainfield, Romeoville, New Lenox and other areas of Will County also were on the scene.

The Hanover Township volunteers went into a handful of buildings to make sure no one was stranded or hurt inside and to ensure that the gas supply and other utilities were turned off. Two of the township's vehicles equipped with tower lights were set up at intersections to illuminate the road for people coming in and out of the area.

Rich David, a corporal with the unit, said the Hanover Township volunteers saw leveled buildings and vehicles in the parking lot of a church that were riddled with sheet metal, two-by-fours and other debris. People were in the church when the severe weather passed through, but they are all safe.

Volunteers also met a business owner who said he had $90,000 worth of inventory blown away.

"For him, it was certainly tragic," David said. "He lost everything. But he was safe."

The unit left Coal City about 10 p.m. Sunday. While Dexter said he didn't know of any immediate plans for the unit to return to the devastated area, there is still a need for help. David said he is already planning to go back, whether with the unit or through his church.

"I guess it's just trying to do my part to give back. I want to be there for those people when they need help," he said. "Who knows, maybe they'll be there when I need help, too."

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here