Southern IL cemetery trying to clean up after storms

CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - High winds swept through parts of Williamson County Wednesday night and brought with it a path of destruction in some areas.

One spot that was hit particularly hard was Hurricane Cemetery in Carterville, Illinois where around half a dozen trees fell, some on top of graves and tombstones.

In the immediate aftermath of the damages, some residents began pulling into the cemetery as early as last night to check on their loved ones resting places.

Greg Jeralds was one of those concerned residents and went to check on his family this morning.

Jeralds said he doesn't even know how many of his family are buried in that cemetery there are so many, some in graves marked back to the 1800s.

Right in between his cousin's and his aunt and uncle's grave, a giant tree was blown down, barely missing either grave on each side. It left no damages other than a sizable dent in the earth's surface next to them.

He said he was shocked but relieved, as he was wondering if he and his family would need to start looking into costly replacement tombstones.

Now that he knows his family's graves are safe, he just wants the tree to get cleared. Hurricane Cemetery Board Treasurer Mona Shemwell is a little worried about that.

She's worried that the board of five volunteers overseeing the cemetery doesn't have the necessary funding to clear away debris as well as do regular maintenance at the site. Also, the rain from the storm softened the ground too much to drive vehicles on without tearing up graves, so they'll have to wait.

In the meantime, volunteers are trying to clear away smaller branches until larger trees can be removed.

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