Harrisburg Illinois Tornado

March 3, 2012 by staff 

Harrisburg Illinois Tornado, Kera Wise picked through the fragments of her aunt and uncle’s tornado-ruined home with a determined hustle under clear skies that weather forecasters warned could again turn dark and dangerous.

Wise figured she had little time to waste Thursday as she stuffed photo albums and what few other items she could retrieve into plastic sacks, hell-bent on rounding up her aunt’s prized trove of Elvis paraphernalia and Beanie Babies. With daylight about to fade roughly the same time she would be forced out by a curfew in southern Illinois’ storm-savaged Harrisburg, she knew another dose of nasty weather could ruin whatever she couldn’t salvage immediately.

“You just keep thinking, ‘God, please don’t let there be another tornado,’” said Wise, 35, whose aunt and uncle remained hospitalized in neighboring Indiana, her uncle in bad shape from bleeding on the brain, a collapsed lung, torn spleen and broken ribs.

Such was the scramble in devastated portions of Harrisburg, the 9,000-resident town sacked by a twister about 5 a.m. Wednesday that killed six people, many of them in the neighborhood where Wise’s aunt and uncle live. The onslaught was part of a storm system that raked the Midwest and South, killing 13 people in four states.

Damaged communities tried to take advantage of the brief break in the weather Thursday, mindful of forecasts that severe storms were expected to roll through the region again sometime after midnight and linger into Friday.

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