Parkersburg residents help tornado victims in Illinois - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parkersburg residents help tornado victims in Illinois

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PARKERSBURG (KWWL) - Recovery efforts are underway in Washington, Ill., after dozens of tornadoes blew through the town last week.

People in Parkersburg know firsthand what it's like to rebuild after a tornado; it's been five years since an E-F 5 tornado spliced through the town.

Hundreds of donations for tornado victims in Illinois have been pouring into Hansel Construction Services in Parkersburg and Jen's Needlework in Aplington.

"It's been so heartfelt and touching to see and hear the people come in and know that they are -- that they just want to help as much as they can," said Assistant Manager at Hansel Construction Services Katie Reints.

Reints was among a handful of volunteers who spent Wednesday boxing up donations.

"When we started we had no idea how much we would get, and it's just exploded," she said. "It's been wonderful."

Cindy Kannegieter said the pictures and stories from Illinois hit close to home for her family who survived the 2008 tornado in Parkersburg.

"It's not even about the material things," she said. "It's just that somebody's there for somebody else."

Donations of handmade quilts, baby items, clothing and cleaning supplies have piled up.

Organizers plan to load up the items, currently stored at Hansel Construction Services, into vehicles and trailers on Friday at 11:30 a.m.

Because they received so many donations, they are looking for someone who has a trailer and would be willing to drive it to Washington, Ill., Saturday morning.

Anyone who could help in that capacity is asked to call Hansel Construction Services at (319) 346-1611.
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