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Local woman survives Illinois tornados

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 19 2013 05:05:06 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 19 2013 06:26:58 PM CST

A Northampton County woman was visiting family in Illinois when devastating tornadoes hit Sunday.

A Northampton County woman was visiting family in Illinois when devastating tornadoes hit Sunday.

Tonya Green of Lehigh Township is originally from Washington, Illinois, one of the hardest hit areas. She was in her hotel in the city of Pekin when she had to take shelter.

"The front desk called me, the cable went out, the alarms started going off on the TV so I went and I got in the bathtub," explained Green. "It hit about a mile away but yeah your ears start popping and everybody says it sounds like a freight train and it does."

She couldn't believe what she saw in the areas that were hit.

"There's nothing left," Green described. "You see a roof over here and part of a wall over there, a car upside down, toys, clothes, things hanging from trees."

"You see it on TV, it's nothing like when you see it in person, especially when it's your hometown where all your memories are," she added.

Green is thankful her friends and family are okay, but that's not the case for everyone. There were injuries, deaths, and hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed. Green sprang into action while she was still there, buying food, water, and clothing for victims.

"I spent all my Christmas money, nobody's getting Christmas presents, that's all I can say, I was able to get two of every size of sweatpants and sweatshirts for men, women and children," said Green.

She's asking everyone to do what they can to help.

"There are so many things going on right now. I know we just had a typhoon and so many people that need our money, but it's such a great town. They're farmers, they're a community, they're close knit, they take care of each other, they're hardworking," said Green. "We need to help them so if anybody has a spare anything, money, extra clothes, take your kids, it's almost Christmas time, go through their toys, something they're not playing with, those kids don't have any toys anymore."

"They need help, they're very deserving people," said Green.

You can donate money to the American Red Cross.

Green's church in Illinois is also collecting clothing and household items. You can send items to:
Highview Road Church of God
2442 Centennial Drive
Washington, IL 61571