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home : braidwood journal : braidwood journal May 2, 2016

12/30/2013 4:36:00 PM
Top 10 stories
2013 stories that kept Braidwood readers informed
by Tonya Michalec
Staff writer

The city of Braidwood had its ups and downs during the year 2013. This week the Braidwood Journal looks back at what were the 10 most-read stories of the year.

Diamond tornado

When a tornado left a path of destruction within earshot of the Braidwood city limits, help from the city and it residents was immediate.

Just after noon on Sunday, Nov. 17, the twister damaged over 200 buildings west of Interstate 55, leaving a 12.9-mile path of destruction in Coal City and Diamond.

Braidwood officials and employees were on the lookout when sirens sounded and warnings were issued early by the National Weather Service. As reports came in that three Diamond subdivisions and several businesses along Illinois 113 just west of I-55 had been hit, the city was quick to respond.

Braidwood mayor Bill Rulien, along with a fleet of public works employees armed with heavy equipment and tools, went to South Will Rd., stopping house to house to check on residents.

"We've got our guys out here to help in any way that we can," Rulien told a Free Press Newspapers reporter at the scene 30 minutes after the tornado had passed.

City employees cleared debris and fallen trees from the streets so emergency responders could gain access.

Braidwood residents were quick to volunteer and donate supplies through local churches.

Members of the Shepherd of Peace Lutheran Church in Braidwood filled the church kitchen to prepare meals. The meals were delivered by church members to the site to victims and volunteers.

Braidwood's First Presbyterian Church became a drop off donation site, urging everyone from the surrounding communities to contribute. The first truckload was delivered the next day to relief centers in Coal City and Diamond. Church members and Braidwood volunteers loaded and delivered two covered trailers and multiple pick-up trucks full of food, clothing, shoes and cleaning supplies by midweek.

"This is our neighbor and this is what neighbors do," Rulien had said.

Make sure to grab a copy of this week's edition of the Braidwood Journal, or subscribe on-line at, to finish reading the remainder of this article.

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