The North Central Illinois Council of Governments is working with the mayors of Ottawa and Naplate to secure a disaster-relief grant. 

They're seeking funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to cover repairs to homes damaged in the February 28 tornado that hit the two municipalities. The Ottawa Times reports that at least 10 to 12 homes are either uninsured or underinsured, and both mayors need to fully document the necessary funds for repair and the homes that are damaged. 

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Ottawa City Engineer Dave Noble says some of the tornado damage from February 28 could have been prevented if construction was up to code.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

The communities of Ottawa and Naplate are working to coordinate local assistance to recover from the Feb. 28 tornado.

Kevin Lindeman of the North Central Illinois Council of Governments says they’ve set up a toll-free telephone hotline for affected residents to express their three greatest needs.

"We have about 65 to 70 so far registered, and have case numbers assigned to them," he said, "so we’re hoping to get more in because there’s a lot more homes that have been affected."


Cleanup and assessment continues in the wake of the tornado that hit La Salle County last week.

Two people died as a result of the storm that ran straight through the Village of Naplate and the south side of the City of Ottawa.

Connie Brooks is the director of the LaSalle County Emergency Management Agency. She says she and others have been out every day to assess the damage, and have some preliminary numbers.

Two Deaths Confirmed After Ottawa Tornado

Mar 2, 2017
WNIJ/Chase Cavanaugh

Two deaths have been confirmed as the result of an EF-3 tornado ripping through LaSalle County around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the LaSalle County Coroner's Office, 76-year-old Wayne Tuntland was crushed by a falling tree at 436 State St.  The Peoria County Coroner's Office also confirmed the death of 31-year old David Johnson. He died of his injuries after being treated at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa, and OSF St. Francis in Peoria.