Woodridge community hosts block party months after EF-3 tornado

The National Weather Service said winds reached 140 mph, leaving over 400 families in need of help months later
WOODRIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Neighbors in Woodridge came together to clean up and support each other after an EF-3 tornado hit the suburban community, now, they are having a block party.

Filled with food, live music and games, locals gathered in the heart of where officials said that tornado touched down just months ago.

Tornado touches down in DuPage County, with damage reported in Woodridge, Naperville
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As a tornado tore through Woodridge, two parents shielded their baby with their own bodies to protect her as their house was badly damaged.

June 20 was a day many won't forget. That was the night an EF-3 tornado touched down, tearing its way through not only Woodridge, but also Naperville, Darien and Burr Ridge.

The National Weather Service said winds reached 140 mph, leaving over 400 families in need of help months later.

You can see some roofs still covered with tarps.

"There's two giant holes in our roof," said Woodridge resident Daniel Steinhouse. "Our floor joints on the second floor got moved about two inches, so the outside structure that has to be repaired."

Steinhouse thinks he fared better than others, with hundreds of families still in need. The community is raising thousands to help.

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Even with some of the destruction still so visible, the party is about something else. The gathering is a break from the rebuilding to celebrate neighbors lifting each other up.

"Today it's just all about celebrations," said block party organizer Chaitali Shah.

Sunday night's event isn't a fundraiser, just a chance for everyone to get to know each other better after meeting under dire circumstances.

"I still do not know a lot of people who actually came over and helped me," Shah said.

Steinhouse said he didn't know Shah before that frightening night. They had been neighbors for months, only crossing paths as after Shah offered Steinhouse's 2-year-old son somewhere to sleep amid the chaos.

Now, they're experiencing something blissful together.

"It's humanity at its finest," Steinhouse said.

"Irrespective of they knew each other; if they knew each other's name, race, religion -- nothing matters -- your neighbors, we're going to be here to help you," Shah added.

RELATED: Teen rescues brother, 6, as tornado destroys second floor of home

"I was a little upset about how things have gone 2020 and 2021, and I'm upset about things that have happened to me personally, but the outpouring of support and the people that come together in this community makes me proud to live here. Truly.," Steinhouse said.

The festivities went on until 8 p.m. on Chestnut Ave. in Woodridge right by St. Scholastica Church.
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