Tornado hits close to home for local residents with family in Illinois

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A local family has ties to the destruction in Northern Illinois after two large tornadoes ripped through the area on Thursday.

Homes were completely destroyed, two people died and 11 were injured in the small town of Fairdale.

“She says she was alright and my son, who was staying with her, he’s alright,” said Julian Slaby, referring to his son and daughter. His daughter has lived in Fairdale since the 1980s.

On Thursday night the tiny town was devastated by a massive and deadly tornado.

“They were coming home they saw the tornado and heard about it. They wanted to get home and take care of the pets. She told me they had just made it into the basement with the dogs.”

Slaby said they rode out the storm in the basement. “She said the roof was still on her house but the sides were pretty well damaged.”

There’s only about 50 homes in Fairdale. All were either damaged or destroyed.

“It’s pretty devastating when you think the fact that houses got leveled, their walls got blown in. But, the sigh of relief you’re so glad they’re okay and that they’re not hurt and that’s the main thing,” said John Slaby.

He tells WINK News Facebook played a huge role in communicating with other family members nearby. Slaby was able to reach out to them for help.

“I felt good about that that there were people ready to reach out if need be. I know there’s a lot of people there that are going to need help.”

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