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posted: 6/14/2014 1:00 PM

Downstate Washington rebuilding, but no end in sight

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  • In this May 28 photo, Jamie and Daniel Cobb pose in the backyard of the their home, now being rebuilt, in Washington, Ill. The Cobbs had lived in their house less than a year when it was destroyed by a tornado in November 2013. The couple expect to be able to move back in within a few months.

      In this May 28 photo, Jamie and Daniel Cobb pose in the backyard of the their home, now being rebuilt, in Washington, Ill. The Cobbs had lived in their house less than a year when it was destroyed by a tornado in November 2013. The couple expect to be able to move back in within a few months.
    Associated Press

  • In this May 28 photo, construction workers begin work on a home in Washington, Ill. The home was among more than 1,000 destroyed or severely damaged by a November 2013 tornado.

      In this May 28 photo, construction workers begin work on a home in Washington, Ill. The home was among more than 1,000 destroyed or severely damaged by a November 2013 tornado.
    Associated Press

  • This Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, aerial file photo shows people walking down a street where homes once stood that were destroyed by a tornado that hit the western Illinois town of Washington. Mayor Gary Manier said the city has issued more than 600 building permits for the more than 1,000 badly damaged or destroyed homes. But construction was slowed by the harsh winter and for many is just beginning.

      This Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, aerial file photo shows people walking down a street where homes once stood that were destroyed by a tornado that hit the western Illinois town of Washington. Mayor Gary Manier said the city has issued more than 600 building permits for the more than 1,000 badly damaged or destroyed homes. But construction was slowed by the harsh winter and for many is just beginning.
    Associated Press file photo

  • In this May 28 photo, the Rev. Ben Davidson talks about the rebuilding effort in Washington, Ill., following last November's tornado. Davidson is standing in a barn where his church, Bethany Community Church, has gathered tools, cleaning supplies and building materials to help the hundreds of families whose homes were damaged.

      In this May 28 photo, the Rev. Ben Davidson talks about the rebuilding effort in Washington, Ill., following last November's tornado. Davidson is standing in a barn where his church, Bethany Community Church, has gathered tools, cleaning supplies and building materials to help the hundreds of families whose homes were damaged.
    Associated Press

  • In this Nov. 18, 2013, photo, Gary Manier, right, the mayor of Washington, Ill., talks with a reporter in front of a row of homes leveled by a tornado the day before. Manier said the city has issued more than 600 building permits for the more than 1,000 badly damaged or destroyed homes. But construction was slowed by the harsh winter and for many is just beginning.

      In this Nov. 18, 2013, photo, Gary Manier, right, the mayor of Washington, Ill., talks with a reporter in front of a row of homes leveled by a tornado the day before. Manier said the city has issued more than 600 building permits for the more than 1,000 badly damaged or destroyed homes. But construction was slowed by the harsh winter and for many is just beginning.
    Associated Press file photo

 
By DAVID MERCER

Associated Press

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- The sounds of nail guns and saws tell Ben Davidson that Washington is starting to come back. The pastor at Bethany Community Church and others in Washington, Illinois, are measuring progress in small signs that the town is being rebuilt after last November's destructive tornado.

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But just how long the work will take is hard to say. Harrisburg, Illinois, is just now about finished with its work, more than two years after a tornado tore through.

Washington Mayor Gary Manier says he compares his town to others that have been torn apart by big tornadoes.

Manier said of the more than 1,000 badly damaged or destroyed homes, the city has issued more than 600 building permits. But construction was slowed by the harsh winter and for many is just beginning.

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