Washington Tornado Information and How to Donate

Nov 22, 2013

4-year-old Ellie Thompson is with her mother at Five Points Washington where people are able to gather things to aid toward each family's disaster recovery.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio


A Washington parking ban remains in effect for the areas heavily damaged by last month's tornado from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice. 


Tornado cleanup continues in East Peoria. Dumpsters are located in the areas of Maria/Stoneman, Bloomington Road/Amelia and surrounding areas, Muller Road, North Rustic Road and Chestnut. Those affected by tornado can place debris in these Dumpsters. The City of East Peoria will supplement this effort with tractors and dump trucks.  This cleanup effort is for tornado-affected residents ONLY.

Debris removal has transitioned to homeowner/private contractor responsibility. Washington residents are asked to place dumpsters on their properties, at least 10 feet away from the back of the curb and at least 10 feet away from fire hydrants. Do not leave dumpsters or debris on the street or public right-of-way. 

Burn Ban

East Peoria residents with tornado damage will be allowed to burn landscape waste and tree branches through Dec. 15. Those needing to burn landscape waste caused by the Nov. 17 tornado must obtain a free burn permit from the East Peoria Fire Department, 201 W. Washington St. 

Rules from the city’s open burning ordinance apply during this extra burning period, which is open only to those with tornado damage. Only dry material should be burned in order to produce as little smoke as possible. Burning may occur only during daylight hours on non-windy days and in small piles. The burn must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult and be completely extinguished when finished. A water source must be nearby.

Building and construction materials cannot be burned.  Residents are asked to check with their neighbors prior to burning brush in case they have health problems which might be affected by smoke, so that an appropriate time to burn can be arranged.

Tazewell County has lifted its burn ban for Washington Township. Debris can not be burned.

Building Permits 

City of Washington staff will be at the library at Five Points from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday-Friday to issue building permits for residents in affected areas.

Residents in Need

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) has opened at 2200 E. Washington, East Peoria.  The DRC will be available 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Everyone impacted by the tornado must register with FEMA. Even if insured, impacted residents are encouraged to register for assistance through grants and low-interest loans. Call 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) or visit www.disasterassistance.gov to apply for disaster assistance. Residents can also apply via smart phones at: m.fema.gov

Monies received from FEMA are GRANTS. Grants are not something you need to pay back. FEMA will not put any sort of lien on your property and will not own your property.

When you apply for disaster assistance please have the following available:

 -Social Security Number (including your spouse’s)

-Private insurance information, if available

-Address and zip code of the damaged property

-Directions to the damaged home or property

-Daytime telephone number

-A telephone number where we can reach you or leave a message

-An address where you can get mail

-If you want your disaster assistance funds sent directly to your bank, provide the FEMA agent with your bank account type (savings/checking), account number and routing number 

Local Churches of Christ have opened a Disaster Relief Resource Center at 117 Peoria Street in Washington. The Center is located just west of Washington Square across from Lindy's Food Market. Churches of Christ Disaster Relieved Effort Incorporated, based in Nashville Tennessee, has provided the local churches with almost $200,000 worth of new supplies to assist those affected by the recent tornadoes. The relief Center is run by local church volunteers and has the following items available for those in need: 

-Food boxes which can feed a family of four for 3 to 5 days, cases of drinking water 

-Personal care boxes with toiletries and hygiene items 

-Infant boxes with baby supplies and diapers 

-Rakes, Brooms, Shovels, Tarps, Trash bags, Wheelbarrows,

-Small kitchen appliances and other kitchen items 

-Clothing, bedding, pillows, blankets 

-Sealed buckets containing cleaning supplies, bleach, laundry detergent, mops 

-Mattresses, box springs, and bed frames will be coming soon 

-A refrigerated truck with various frozen dinners will be on site soon 

-If the need is great enough, appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washes, and dryers may be provided to low income families without insurance who lost everything in the disaster. (An application process is required for these items) 

All items at the Center are brand-new unused merchandise. The Center will be staffed on the following schedule: Monday through Friday 9 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM, Saturday 12 noon to 5 PM, Sunday 1 PM to 5 PM. The center will also be open on Thanksgiving. It will be open until further notice.

Threads, Hope & Love in Washington is giving various supplies away to tornado victims at the Rock 1275 Peoria St. across from the Dairy Queen in Mt. Vernon Plaza.  It’s open at 8 every day.  Items available include bedding, personal items, linens, and coats.

 How and Where to Donate

Donating Money 

People can donate money to The Tornado Relief CI Fund through the America Red Cross - 1-800-REDCROSS or via www.hoiunitedway.org for a one-time donation. 

Bradley University students, staff and faculty may now use Dining Dollars to make donations to the tornado relief effort. Donate up to $25 from your Dining Dollars account to buy supplies for the recovery effort. Tell your cashier at campus dining facilities, if you would like to make a donation. See bradley.edu/tornadorelief for details on many more ways to get involved in the relief effort.  

The Salvation Army is also collecting monetary donations at saheartland.org. Donors can also text the word, STORM, to 80888 to donate $10 via their cell phone bills. Donation can also be made by calling 1-800-725-2769. 

The Washington Rotary Club Foundation and the Rotary District 6460 Foundation are accepting monetary donations for those impacted by the November 17th tornado. Checks can be made payable to Washington Rotary Foundation and mailed to 2075 Washington Rd, Washington, IL 61571. Those mailing checks to the Rotary 6460 Foundation should do so to this address: 

Rotary District 6460

P O Box 311

Springfield, Ill  62705-0311

Checks should note that they are for the tornado disaster. 

Where to Donate Items:

Washington Chamber says there is not any more room in the city for donations. It's asking people to donate money instead of items.

Online Auction

The Peoria Chiefs is hosting an online auction at www.peoriachiefs.com with all proceeds going to help those in the surrounding communities. The auction includes autographed baseballs from Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Greg Maddux and David Freese along with an autographed Ryne Sandberg Hall of Fame program. So far other items have been pledged from St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs players, plus numerous former Chiefs along with items from local businesses and other Minor League Teams.


AmeriCorp is coordinating volunteers for the recovery efforts.  Individual Volunteers should contact  309-698-5002 while groups of Volunteers and Equipment Usage should contact 309-698-5003

Volunteers for the relief efforts are also being accepted by Samaritan's Purse. Sign up to volunteer at spvolunteernetwork.org and find more information on their Facebook page at spvolunteernetwork.org/facebook

Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in East Peoria is seeking volunteers to help with a tornado relief effort. Call (309) 694-4433.

Non-Emergency Assistance

Central Illinois residents who are seeking non-emergency assistance can call the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 information and referral line (just dial 211 or 309-999-4029) to be referred to vital services in their area. The Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 is a partnership between the United Way and Advanced Medical Transport and is available to provide assistance and answer questions 24/7. Information for tornado relief resources is constantly being updated, so we encourage callers to check back frequently.