HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - A tornado in February damaged around 275 acres in the Shawnee National Forest.
The thousands of downed trees created a risk for wildfire, diseases and insect outbreaks.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service put together a plan to restore the forest, starting with salvaging the downed trees, which could affect drinking water.
"With the trees tripped over, right here we have the Kinkaid Creek, which feeds directly into Kinkaid Lake, which is a municipal water supply for Carbondale and surrounding areas," said Justin Dodson, silviculturist. "You can see back there that root wad with all that exposed dirt. Now, if there is a torrential downpour, that rain can impact that soil directly and wash down into the creek right here."
That water supply at Kinkaid Lake affects about 30,000 people, so getting the creek clean is important.
The treatment facility can still clean the water, but it takes more resources.