Brookport to get more than $900,000 1 year after tornado - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Brookport to get more than $900,000 1 year after tornado


One year ago today, some two dozen tornadoes ravaged 15 counties in Illinois, killing eight people and destroying hundreds of homes.

After an EF-3 tornado touched down in Massac County, three people lost their lives and left homes and businesses to ruble.

It has been a long year for the people in Brookport.

Today, the community commemorated the one year mark and celebrated the progress they've made.

In memory of those who died, the family members of the three victims rang the town's bell at exactly 2:17, when the tornado hit.

Buck Lange lost his sister, Schollata Burrus.

“I would of never dreamed that this many people showed up here,” says Lange.

Lange rang it two more times for the other victims, Kathy George and Robert Harmon.

“It felt good, to hear it ring for her and the other two,” he says.

Others, who heard it, came from near and far, whether they were affected by the tornado or not, the anniversary is a day now set in stone.

A bench was dedicated in honor of the victims and sits in the middle of town – so that anyone who drives through Brookport can see it.

It will be a sight, Lange and his wife say they will pass by often.

“I'm just happy Brookport is still on the map,” he says.

Following the deadly tornadoes in Brookport and Washington, Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn visited with families and helped dedicate a new memorial to mark the tragedy. 

Gov. Quinn announced additional state recovery assistance to aid the two communities who are still in the process of rebuilding and recovery one year later.

The governor's additional investments announced Monday are from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and total $1.3 million between Illinois' two hardest hit communities. The $398,283 for Washington and the $938,100 for Brookport will help local governments rebuild tornado-damaged infrastructure.

In total, Washington has received $13.4 million and Brookport $2.9 million in state assistance to recover from the November 17, 2013 tornadoes. 

More than $19.5 million in state assistance has been provided to date for tornado damaged communities from the November disaster.

Brookport Mayor John Klaffer said the state assistance saved the community from bankruptcy.  

The state's multi-agency relief package for local governments included assistance from DCEO, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Finance Authority, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The local government entities that have received state assistance to recover from the storms a year ago include:

  • Arcola Township, $380
  • Braceville Township, $219,744
  • City of Brookport, $2,971,202
  • Champaign County, $44,528
  • Champaign County Highway Department, $1,753
  • Claypool Drainage & Levee District, $14,625
  • Village of Coal City, $446,096
  • Compromise Township, $394,546
  • Compromise Township Road District, $17,416
  • City of Danville, $43,258
  • Douglas County, $1,086
  • City of East Peoria, $522,179
  • Village of Diamond, $433,590
  • City of Fairfield, $3,281
  • Village of Garrett, $750
  • Village of Gifford, $750,996
  • Grundy County Sheriff, $7,944
  • Kerr Township, $1,700
  • Massac County, $23,549
  • Metamora Township, $5,581
  • City of Minonk, $12,339
  • Murdock Township, $425
  • Newman Township Road District, $757
  • City of Pekin, $100,688
  • Tazewell County, $33,511
  • Village of Tilton, $1,202
  • Tuscola Township, $1,348
  • Tuscola Township Highway Department, $780
  • Vermilion County, $2,085
  • City of Washington: $13,440,177
  • Washington Community High School, $5,077
  • Washington Park District, $15,658
  • Washington Township Road District, $8,676
  • Woodford County, $26,757
  • Woodford County Highway Department, $6,712
TOTAL: $19,504,334

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