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November 17th: Finding Strength After the Storm

Chaos struck Central Illinois on Nov. 17, 2013, as more than a dozen twisters descended from the sky. Tazewell County was hit hardest statewide, as two tornados hit the cities of
Pekin, East Peoria, and Washington.

The largest, a half-mile wide vortex with winds of 190-miles-per-hour, ripped through the city of Washington. Entire neighborhoods were leveled, with some homes swept clean from their foundations.

Overall, more than 1,000 homes and businesses were flattened or severely damaged. Loss of life was limited to three tornado-related deaths, but the physical and psychological scars are just now
starting to heal.

From personal stories of residents who lost everything to testimony from volunteers and officials involved in the clean-up, WTVP follows recovery efforts throughout the past year, looks at the lessons learned in the aftermath, and reveals the triumphs and inspirational spirit
found through community.