Volunteers allowed into tornado-ravaged areas of LaSalle County

NAPLATE, Ill. (WLS) -- Three days after the storms, volunteers were allowed into the hardest-hit areas in LaSalle County.

PHOTOS: Tornado damage in Ottawa, Naplate

They're helping families pick up the pieces after Tuesday's deadly tornadoes.

One powerful twister was packing winds over 130 mph. It damaged dozens of homes and killed one person.

The French family allowed ABC7 inside their home of 14 years to see firsthand the power of the tornado and the physical and emotional damage it left behind - all in a matter of seconds.

"Heartbreaking. I don't have a home. It's gone," Kim French said.

Ed French said he got ahold of two contractors to come out and give estimates to see what they can do to put their house back together.

The damage is extensive, stretching the resources of these small communities. Senator Dick Durbin, on the ground Friday afternoon, promised to do what he can to bring some relief.

"The federal formula isn't kind," Durbin said.

The Salvation Army set up at Naplate Village Hall to feed residents and workers and collect donations.

"It has been overwhelmingly awesome," said Rachelle May, The Salvation Army.

Volunteers in both Ottawa and Naplate will be on foot Saturday helping with the cleanup.

"People came up right away wanting to volunteer their time, their effort," said Robb Hasty, Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce. "There wasn't any hesitancy at all."
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