‘It was explosion after explosion’: Naperville community rallies together in EF-3 tornado aftermath


NAPERVILLE, Ill.  — At least five people were hurt after an EF-3 tornado tore through Naperville overnight, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

In the morning after, community members rallied together for the clean up.

“I woke up to my parents telling my grandma and grandparents’ house was gone, and I was like ‘what do you mean?'” said Shiva Patel. “So I put everything down and came down here. I just couldn’t believe it.”

Shiva Patel and his sister Sienna spent Monday trying to save what they could from their grandparents’ home – destroyed in the tornado that ripped through the Cinnamon Creek subdivision late Sunday night.

“You can’t even make out where the living room or anything was because it’s that bad,” said Sienna Patel.

“I basically grew up and this is kind of my second home,” Shiva Patel said. “To have all that gone and destroyed in a single night, it’s just like devastating.”

Edward Hospital says it treated eight people who were injured. Six of the people hurt have already been checked out of the hospital. More than a dozen houses were so badly damaged they have been deemed inhabitable. One neighbor’s Ring Doorbell even captured the power of the winds.

But neighbors say they aren’t facing the tornado’s destruction alone.

“I just wanted to hand out water because it’s kinda warm out and we looked around and we’re like they need help because they can’t gather all of this,” said neighbor Arlinda Reed.

Neighbors, strangers, even the Naperville Central football team showed up to tackle the clean-up.

Katie Longpiper, who lives next door, says her house is still standing after the tornado’s wrath.

“It was the scariest thing we ever went through,” she said. “We just made it to the basement with seconds to spare.

“It was no freight train, don’t ever think it’s a freight train. It was explosion after explosion.”

Those whose homes were spared came to help the Patels.

“I think it’s really nice of everyone coming to help because we all need it,” Sienna Patel said. “Everyones working together as a community to support.”


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