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Elkville tornado disaster relief work

Volunteers help clean up a damaged property in Elkville, Illinois, which was hit Tuesday by a category EF-3 tornado.

Contributed by Scott Slone

ELKVILLE — Scott Slone interrupted his telephone conversation to tell some volunteers about a single man out by himself trying to clear downed trees from his property.

Slone, who pastors Elkville First Baptist Church, is coordinating local relief efforts for Elkville, which was hit Tuesday night by a category EF3 tornado — with wind speeds of 136 to 165 miles per hour — hit a part of the village and nearby Vergennes. A few injuries were reported and 46 homes were damaged, 12 a complete loss.

Pitching in to help clear away debris, felled trees and help get people back into their homes are members of Slone's church and others from throughout the area, such as those from Dowell Baptist Church, who've helped with food.

Slone's church is also the base for workers from the Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief Team, which includes volunteers from Williamson County and Harrisburg.

Slone is looking for more volunteers who can help with clearing away debris and cleaning up at least through next Wednesday, and is collecting funds to help the tornado-impacted Elkville residents. Donations should be made payable to: Tornado Relief of Elkville First Baptist Church. The church is working with the Nine Mile Baptist Association to ensure the funds are properly used for those needing disaster assistance.

Volunteers are needed to help clear debris from properties and walk fields to pick up storm debris, including personal belongings.  Slone said volunteers should call him or come by the church between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for an assignment.  For more information, contact Slone at 618-790-4300.

"It’s really a community thing," Slone said. "We’ve got all of our churches and community leaders jumping in together."


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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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