Harrisburg Mayor reflects on tornado 1 year later - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Harrisburg Mayor reflects on tornado 1 year later

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg carries the names of the tornado victims everywhere he goes.

But he's also focused on the resiliency of the city and he's looking ahead to what's next for Harrisburg.

Gregg says about 80 percent of the homes destroyed in the tornado have been rebuilt.

A strip mall served as the backdrop for many stories that day, and Gregg says plans are in the works to rebuild that as well.

He said up to $30 million worth of projects could come to the city.

For Gregg, he says he learned a lot about the Harrisburg community and the Heartland as a whole.

He also knows how important it was to be the spokesman for the city while it was the center of national attention.

"Shortly after the tornado we had a staging area for food and clothing at the Mad Pricer building and I was out there," Gregg said.  "I wasn't sure if some people knew who I was but it was a couple of young mothers walking in with their children and one of the mothers pointed to me and said 'That's the mayor, that's the guy who's making sure you have food and clothing.' I was really taken aback by that and the kids came up and hugged me and I'm still moved by that today."

Along with the rebuilding effort, Mayor Gregg also has been dealing with personal health issues.

An intestinal infection just one month after the tornado forced him into emergency surgery.

He's healthy now and credits doctors in Harrisburg and Evansville, Indiana with saving his life.

Senator Dick Durbin released a statement Thursday saying he's seen his fair share of tornado damage in his life, but when he visited Harrisburg and Ridgway, he saw things he'd never seen before.

"I expected to see some trees blown down and shingles torn off roofs," Durbin said. "Instead I saw entire houses lifted from their concrete foundation and tossed on top of the neighboring house."

He said the loss of homes and property was really difficult to bear, but the real tragedy lies in the lives that were claimed by this tornado.

"But despite this incredible loss, when I visited Harrisburg and Ridgway, what I didn't see were broken spirits," he said. "Instead from the very minute this disaster took place, people came together to rebuild the community.

Durbin said today, when he sees how much the residents of Harrisburg and Ridgway have done to rebuild their communities over the past year, he is proud to be from Illinois and proud to be part of this great nation.

Copyright 2013 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly