There have been delays rebuilding a tornado-damaged high school gym.
A tornado ripped off part of a wall of Gillespie High School gym last May. Superintendent Joe Tieman says there have been setbacks in the effort to rebuild the gym. He tells The (Alton) Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1ocv2AS ) those include issues with insurance claims, power lines and the harsh winter weather. Tieman says officials thought the gym would be repaired by March, but now it's looking more like May.
State officials now say that at least 900 homes were either destroyed or badly damaged by Sunday's tornadoes. And that figure is likely to grow.
Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She says Wednesday the agency doesn't have anything close to a full count of the homes affected in Washington, which was hardest hit by the storms.
This has not been an easy week for the Washington, Illinois High School Football Team. Instead of just preparing for a playoff game this weekend, they have one of the largest distractions imaginable, an EF-4 tornado that hit their community.
The Washington Panthers are practicing at Illinois State University's Hancock Stadium in Normal getting ready for Saturday's Class Five-A Semifinal game in Springfield against Sacred Heart-Griffin. At least nine of the team lost their homes in Sunday's Tornado.
The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by strong storms.
Mayor Gary Manier says that figure includes homes that were totally destroyed as well as properties that received minor damage. Officials still haven't said how many people in the community have been affected by Sunday's tornado. Washington has about 16,000 residents and is about 10 miles east of Peoria.
November tornadoes seem out of place in Illinois. But weather statistics show they're not uncommon. Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel studied the years 1950 to 2010 and found nearly 70 tornadoes occurred in November. That's more than October or December.
But what made Sunday different was the outbreak that occurred.
"All our other outbreaks tend to happen in the springtime," Angel said. "So the ones in November tend to be single events, but this is by far the biggest number that we've seen in November."
State officials say victims of yesterday's (Nov. 17) storms should take extra care in documenting their material losses. Illinois learned the hard way why that can be important.
About two years ago, seven people died in the tornadoes that rocked Harrisburg, in deep southern Illinois. And yet the state was denied a request for federal assistance. That meant home and business owners could not get federal loans, grants and other aide.
The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says storms and tornadoes destroyed or heavily damaged between 250 and 500 homes in the Tazewell County community.
Gary Manier says hundreds of residents of Washington spent the night in shelters after a storm cut a swath of damage through the community of about 16,000 people that's about 140 miles southwest of Chicago.
It's not clear when they'll be allowed home.
One person in Washington died and a state official says at least 60 others were
The central Illinois community of Washington will be under a curfew for at least a week after a deadly tornado turned scores of houses into rubble.
Illinois State Police Trooper Dustin Pierce says Monday that the curfew will run from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Authorities implemented the curfew in large part for safety reasons. With power lines knocked down and tons of debris from the hundreds of homes that were destroyed or badly damaged, authorities do not want people walking around _ particularly when it's dark.