Sublette residents begin recovery and cleanup efforts

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SUBLETTE, Ill. – The small community of Sublette, Illinois is beginning recovery efforts after Monday night’s tornado caused widespread damage in the area – including Woodhaven Lakes camping area.

A secondary search of damaged trailers inside Woodhaven Lakes happened earlier today.  So far, there is no word on anyone found. That's good news.

But the damage isn't minor.

For all of it though, the word you heard the most here today is "lucky."

Don Neal who owns property at Woodhaven Lakes says he and his wife Pauline rode out the tornado in his trailer.
They heard the sirens Monday night but couldn't make it to the park shelter in time.

“The trailer was shaking,” Pauline said. “Next thing you know we're hearing trees coming down all around us. That was it.”

Not far away, Jeff Culotta came home today to his construction shed demolished.

“This is crazy,” he said.

The good news?  Only portions of Woodhaven Lakes took the brunt of the EF-2 tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour.

But smaller spin off funnels extended the damage. Some trailers were tossed onto their sides.  Trees came down. One person was taken to the hospital. No one was killed. Luck, they say, was in the timing. A Monday night has fewer people in the park.

As ComEd crews work to restore power to Sublette, residents like Pauline are thankful it's not worse.

“I'm just glad we're all alive. I don't know what else to tell you guys but I'm glad we're alive.”

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