Long road to recovery for Naplate and Ottawa after tornado

LASALLE COUNTY, Illinois - Today people started the long process of cleaning up after a devastating tornado ripped through LaSalle County.

For some, there's nothing left.

50 out of the 200 homes in the small village of Naplate, Illinois are destroyed.

"I generally ride these streets every day and to see them like this is pretty tough," said Jim Rick, Mayor of Naplate.

Damage is everywhere you look, trees on top of cars and even homes. For a storm that didn't last long, it left quite the impact.

Right next door, the community of Ottawa, 100 homes destroyed and took the life of two people.

The National Weather Service confirms an E-F 3 tornado touched down in both towns.

"It breaks my heart for all those who have lost everything including the life lost," said Vanessa Worley, who lives in Ottawa.

On Wednesday, March 1st, people spent the day just trying to clean up the mess, "I`ve called it the war zone because it`s really kind of what it looks like," said Vanessa Worley.

James Joseph, Director of the Illinois Emergency Agency says the tornado couldn't have come at a worse time, "Our concern right now is obviously a drop in temperatures, recovery efforts can become even more dangerous with a dropping temperatures."

Both communities are coming together to move forward the best they can, "It's been a tough few hours, but you know we`ll get through it," said Mayor Rick.

Anyone without a place to stay is being told to go to the Ottawa High School located at 211 E Main St, for assistance.

Ameren is still working to restore power throughout La Salle County.