Will County suffers significant tornado damage

June 8, 2008 4:28:29 PM PDT
Saturday's tornado first formed southwest of Chicago in Livingston County, then moved across Will County.A video shot by Bob Potempa shows the tornado tearing through farmland in Monee, destroying a horse barn and trailer, among other things. A shed housing a Camaro and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, the owner's pride and joy, was also destroyed, along with one area resident's master bedroom.

"Our master bedroom wall has been ripped down. Our ceiling in the master bedroom from the attic up has come down. Our chimney is in the bedroom and our bedroom is in our backyard," said Holly McManigal. "We're looking for a place to rent. As we speak, we're going out to meet with our realtor to try and find something else. [We're] not sure how long it will take to repair something like this."

"It was overwhelming, to say the least, but it's all material things. We don't have children, but we do have pets. They all weathered it. Everyone's fine. Not one got hurt," Dan McManigal said.

Next door to the McManigal's, the Lynch family also sustained some heavy damage. Their horse barn was totaled. Fortunately, there were no animals in it at the time. And while they were not home either, their 4-year-old son and a babysitter were there.

"They called that they were in the basement, then called back five minutes later saying the windows were shaking. We came back. It only took five minutes. We saw emergency vehicles in the driveway. My husband was freaking out. [He] noticed that the barn was gone," said Stacy Lynch.

A brand new warehouse in University Park, Illinois also sustained severe damage. It was meant to open soon as a distribution center for the Smucker's company.

"It was not in use yet. [it was] supposed to be ready by the 16th or the 19th of June, but I don't think we'll make it," Independent Contractor Bill Ryan said.

Besides the roof damage, the entire back wall of the warehouse is now gone and the dock doors were all blown out in the storm.

The tornado appears to have cut a path through mostly open fields until it reached the University Park neighborhood. Up and down East Drive there is now extensive tree damage, and at least one home sustained considerable damage. The house next door, however, remained intact.

"I just feel blessed that nothing happened to our house, and fortunately no deaths, no injuries occurred in this. The mystery of mother nature," said Randolph Smith, a University Park resident.


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