By Doug Schroder


FAIRDALE, IL – Thursday, June 11, 2015, marked two months to the day that I was last in Fairdale, IL. It just so happened that I was in the area last Thursday, so I decided to stop by and see what progress has been made since April 11, which was two days after an EF4 tornado ripped through town.

Upon arrival I could see that some recovery has taken place, but there is a long ways to go. A majority of the mess has been cleaned up, and some reconstruction was taking place. Give Hope, a group from Northwest High in Jackson, MI, was there lending a helping hand by picking up debris and mowing lawns. I walked through town and tried to recreate the shots I had taken in April. While I was doing so a resident drove up next to me.

“Don’t take pictures of the homes. Residents will charge you. Stay on the road and do not trespass,” he said rather tersely.

Luckily for me I had the forethought to bring along the April 16 edition of the Tempo newspaper that had photos on the front page from when I was there on April 11. I explained to the resident that I was there doing a follow up. That put him at ease. After talking with the resident for a while I found out that people had come to the town and were taking videos to case out the places for possible looting. So I definitely understood where he was coming from.

Also from the resident I learned that many in the town were having problems with rebuilding due to building codes and regulations. Residents were told by authorities that their homes would be rebuilt, but then the residents were told that due to the new building codes and regulations their homes could not be rebuilt. This did not work out well for one resident as his home could have been repaired. Instead it was torn down. Now he’s left with no home.

Insurance companies have been dragging their feet with paying out on policies and so far the only money the village has seen come in is from the Lions Club in Washington, IL. Residents of Washington were struck by a tornado in the recent past.

After talking with the Fairdale resident I continued back to my car. While on the way I passed an SUV that was parked on the street. At first I thought it was a police officer judging from all the electronic equipment I could see surrounding the driver’s seat. As it turned out it was a storm chasing team from the Weather Channel. They were there watching a storm front with possibilities of serious weather happening. How ironic that they would be there on the same day I was. The dashcam mounted in the vehicle was connected to two wireless routers that hooked up directly to the Weather Channel servers on a 45 second delay. I wish I had gotten pictures, but another storm chasing team came along that the first team was expecting.

Residents of Fairdale still need help, mainly of the monetary variety. It was suggested by the Fairdale resident I talked to that donations be made to the Kirkland Lions Club. That would ensure that the residents would receive the donation and it wouldn’t be used in other ways.Fairdale 2 months later 2

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