Chaos struck Central Illinois on Nov. 17, 2013, as more than a dozen twisters descended from the sky. Tazewell County was hit hardest statewide, as a half-mile vortex with 190-mile-per-hour winds ripped through the city of Washington. Entire neighborhoods in Washington were leveled, with some homes swept clean from their foundations. Overall, more than a 1,000 homes and businesses were flattened or severely damaged. Loss of life was limited to three tornado-related deaths, but the physical and psychological scars are just now starting to heal.
To celebrate one year of rebuilding, WTVP-Public Media for Central Illinois will premiere a new special that follows recovery efforts throughout the past year. This WTVP Original documentary looks at the lessons learned in the aftermath of the storm, good and bad, and reveals the struggles and triumphs of a community trying to rebuild. November 17th: Finding Strength After the Storm will air Monday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. on WTVP 47.1, the first anniversary of the storm.
Viewer discretion is advised as the program features video and audio of the storm. Major support for the broadcast and event comes in part from Caterpillar Inc., CEFCU, Country Financial, Homefield Energy, a Dynegy Company, and Steger’s Furniture. Additional support provided by Otto Baum Company, Inc. and Menold Construction and Restoration.
The public is invited to a free preview of the documentary on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at Five Points Washington, 360 N. Wilmor Road in Washington. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required as seating is limited. Tickets are available online at www.wtvp.org. For more information on the public preview, call (309) 677-4747.
WTVP-Public Media, Central Illinois’ PBS station, has been serving the community since 1971 through broadcast, services and educational outreach. Now, WTVP also provides quality educational content to the world at www.wtvp.org, Facebook (facebook.com/wtvp.org) and Twitter (@WTVP).