The City of Washington is remembering the anniversary of the EF-4 tornado that tore through that community late on a Sunday morning, four years ago.
Faith leaders, first responders and a variety of others gathered at Harry LaHood Park Friday morning to remember the lives lost, the 1,108 homes damaged or destroyed and the community’s resolve to recover.
Mayor Gary Manier says seven lots that had homes before the tornado remain vacant. "The best part is we have come a long, long way!" Manier says if it wasn't for the new trees, shrubberies and other immature vegetation many of those who've moved to Washington can't tell the tornado happened unless you give them a tour.
The tornado that plowed through Washington is the strongest on record in Illinois for the month of November, since 1950 when record-keeping started. It initially touched down in the southeastern part of East Peoria cutting a path of destruction that resulted in the death of three people.
Homes in Morton and Pekin also sustained damage. The tornado in Tazewell County was one of two rated at EF-4 in Illinois that day. Multiple other tornadoes were on the ground during that 24 hour period throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.