Gov. Rauner tours tornado-ravaged areas with Red Cross

KIRKLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner toured areas of northern Illinois that were devastated by an EF-4 tornado last week.

Rauner passed out lunches and handshakes to volunteers in Kirkland, Ill., the town hardest hit by the tornado. He noted that the tragedy has been eased only by the generosity of volunteers.

"I wanted to come today again to say thank you to the many, many volunteers and the first responders who have done an extraordinary job helping the families of Fairdale and in Rochelle to recover from this devastation," Rauner said.

The American Red Cross sent volunteers immediately after the storm and plan to remain in the area for the long haul.

"We've been going up and down the streets providing food when people need it and also helping with bulk supplies, rakes and shovels and things like that; providing mental health support, too. That's pretty important when people have suffered losses like this," said Fran Edwardson, CEO, American Red Cross of Chicago.

Jackie Jordan and Chris Thick are expecting their home to be demolished on Saturday. Their sons Ryder and Oliver turned 1 and 2 the day after the tornado. The birthday party is postponed, but they are just grateful to be together.

"There's been so much help and support in the community. The boys are young enough that they won't really remember and aren't quite as affected as we are," Jordan said.

The Red Cross said 1,500 volunteers will remain in Kirkland through the weekend.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.