Ongoing Outreach to Residents Recovering from Tornado
Ongoing Outreach to Residents Recovering from Tornado

Tornado Recovery Continues: Officials Offer Support Through Email, Outreach and Education

Kane County Connects Staff 7/17/2023 8:00AM

The National Weather Service confirms 13 tornados touched downed on July 12, 2023 across northeast Illinois, downing trees and damaging homes and other property. Two tornados impacted Kane County in a line stretching from Campton Hills to Elgin and Plato Center to Elgin (see maps below).

Eight homes in the Edgewater subdivision sustained significant damage that prevents them from being occupied. Eleven have damage requiring substantial repairs, but did not affect the dwellings' structural integrity. Combined damage estimates for the 19 homes is $7 million. 

In addition to the Edgewater subdivision, the primary area of the city that suffered damage was located south of South Street and west of McLean Boulevard. The College Green neighborhood took a fair amount of damage along a few streets. Mission Hills Drive, Balmoral Drive, Harbor Town Drive and Annandale Drive all have broken and uprooted trees. The Columbine neighborhood suffered some damage as well as the neighborhoods west of Edgewater such as Waterford, Copper Springs and the Shadow Hill.

As part of the fast track permitting process, the city has instituted a designated email to help expedite the process. Impacted residents can email “" describing the type of assistance they need.    Tornado Recovery 3.jpg

Free Red Cross clean-up kits are available for those impacted by the tornado. A clean-up kit consists of: a 5-gallon size bucket with lid, mop, rake, long-handled brush, garbage bags, gloves, and sanitizing disinfectant cleaning fluids. To request a clean-up kit, please call Beth Drendel from the Kane County Office of Emergency Management at 224-239-8042.  Also, DKI First Priority will be relocating the Tornado Victim Assistance Tent to Fire Station #7 (3270 Longcommon Pkwy, Elgin, IL 60124). The Tornado Victim Assistance tent is available for any resident who was impacted by the tornado and needs information or resources. 

Elgin police are also warning residents to beware of construction scams and out of town contractors soliciting business.  On Monday July 17, Elgin Police along with the Kane County Sheriff's Office and Kane County Office of Emergency Management held a community meeting to share the warning signs of a scam and techniques scammers use to swindle vulnerable residents in to signing home repair contracts.  The Sheriff's Office also provided social workers for residents and the Office of Emergency Management was on hand to direct people to needed resources. 

Elgin's comfort dog mingled with the crowd at the community meeting as well.   Tornado Recovery 2.jpg

The following are some tips on avoiding construction or repair scams from the non-profit Better Business Bureau:

Contact your insurance company. Ask about your policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Save all receipts, including those for food, temporary lodging, or other expenses that may be covered under your policy. Your insurance company may also have recommended contractors.

Do your research. Find businesses you can trust on Check your state or provincial government agency responsible for registering and/or licensing contractors. Get references from friends and relatives. 

Resist high-pressure sales. Some storm chasers use tactics such as the “good deal" you'll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot. Be proactive in selecting a contractor and not reactive to sales calls on the phone or door-to-door pitches. Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision or to choose an unknown contractor.

Be especially careful of door-to-door contractors. Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if salespeople go door-to-door. Ask for identification. Check their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and license plates for your state or province.

Don't sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don't sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.

Be wary regarding places you can't see. While most contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know to inspect your roof and other areas of your house. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. The same goes for attics, crawl spaces, ducts, and other places you cannot easily access or see for yourself.

BBB is also warning contractors to beware of storm chasers who offer to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use the business's established name, reputation, and phone. They masquerade as a local business, collect the insurance money and then move on, leaving the real business to deal with unsatisfied customers due to bad workmanship, unfinished work, or unfulfilled warranties.


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