Andrew Epstein / WNIJ

Illinois residents affected by last month's tornados in Lee and Grundy counties will get extra time to file state tax returns. 

Governor Bruce Rauner's office said Wednesday the deadline to file tax returns and make payments will be Dec. 31. He says that will allow residents to recover from the storms and file their returns on time.

Taxpayers who mail their returns and payments should write “Tornado June 2015” in red ink on the outside of the envelope and at the top of each page. Those filing electronically should check the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

Woodhaven Lakes To Reopen After Tornado Devastation

Jun 26, 2015

Woodhaven Lakes will reopen tomorrow after a tornado touched down Monday causing damage and at least five injuries.

The campground will be open at 8 a.m. to all property owners with some conditions. This decision was made by Woodhaven Lakes management based on the progress that has been made in the past several days.

There are still electrical, debris and traffic and parking concerns according to a statement from Doug Erbes, Sublette Fire Department Chief.

Coal City Clean-up 

More Severe Weather To Come For Northern Illinois

Jun 24, 2015
Andrew Epstein / WNIJ

A new weather system could bring as much as five inches of rain to northern Illinois through today. That’s according to NIU meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste. 

Sebenste says the incoming weather won’t be as bad as Monday’s storms, but it could be bad enough to yield another small tornado along the I-88 corridor.

The ground is still pretty saturated from Monday’s storms. Sebenste recommends making sure your sump pump and accessories are fully functioning and to heed any weather-related warnings.

Andrew Epstein / WNIJ

Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a disaster declaration for Lee and Grundy counties as a result of the tornadoes that ripped through northern Illinois on Monday.

Rauner surveyed tornado and storm damage in Lee County and in Coal City on Tuesday morning.

"It's a miracle, frankly, when you see the devastation that there were no deaths and no life-threatening injuries," Rauner said after viewing the damage in Coal City by helicopter.

National Weather Service / Google Maps

Nine tornadoes altogether touched down Monday night in northern Illinois, and one was stronger than officials originally determined.

The National Weather Service continues to investigate and evaluate damage and other information about the June 22 severe weather outbreak.

The tornado that caused considerable damage to Coal City, which is south of Chicago on the Grundy-Will county line, has been upgraded from an EF-2 to an EF-3. It was determined that top winds were around 160 miles per hour.

Whiteside County suffered a lot of crop damage during Monday's storms, but structural damage was not nearly as devastating as the April tornado in Fairdale.

That's according to Chief Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Henson.

Henson says a lot of damaged homes are salvageable, despite trees falling on them. He says no one in the area was hurt or injured during the storms, but anyone passing through should still exercise caution. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The board decided this week during a public hearing to vote on rezoning July 1 when no objections came from the crowd. Local officials say the April 9 tornado caused $7.9 million in damages to 90 properties in the small community of about 150 people. Only 25 houses withstood the storm.

Rezoning would ease restrictions if residents decide to rebuild. Many of the houses in Fairdale were in place before county zoning was established in 1948.  

The Daily Chronicle reports Fairdale residents can start rebuilding as soon as the next day if the rezoning is approved.

Jenna Dooley/WNIJ

Tornado victims in and around Fairdale may be able to get low-interest federally backed loans to rebuild and recover losses if a request by Gov. Bruce Rauner is approved.

Rauner's office announced Saturday that he will request that the U.S. Small Business Administration issue a physical disaster declaration for DeKalb County to help people and businesses in Fairdale and surrounding areas recover from the April 9 tornado.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

DeKalb County officials say some minor rebuilding has begun in the northern Illinois community of Fairdale in the wake of the April 9 tornado.

Paul Miller is DeKalb County’s Planning and Zoning Director.  He says the county has received applications from Fairdale residents for permits to repair roofs or siding and to replace outbuildings, like sheds.  But, Miller says, the county has not yet received any applications from Fairdale to rebuild homes that were destroyed by the tornado.  Miller says they can't because of the community's zoning.

National Weather Service

Tornado sirens are for people who are outdoors. For everyone else, there are a lot of options these days when it comes to staying on top of weather emergencies. Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste says the key word is “redundancy.”