James Hart teacher’s home destroyed by Coal City tornado

Fundraising efforts are under way for James Hart Junior High School teacher Ric Druse, whose Coal City home was destroyed by a tornado Monday.

The Druse home after being 
hit by a tornado Monday night.

(Provided photo)

Donations are being accepted on the GoFundMe crowd funding website. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $2,100 had been collected; that money will go toward replacing home furnishings and other items that the Druse family lost in the storm.

Monetary donations for the Druse family are also being collected at any Homewood District 153 school and at the district administration center.

Druse teaches eighth grade science at Hart. He is himself a graduate of the junior high school.

According to GoFundMe, Druse and his family hid in their crawl space when the tornado hit. They were rescued by first responders. Neither he nor the other members of his family were injured. However, Druse told the Chicago Tribune that his wife and oldest son went to the hospital to be checked out.

Druse later learned that his home will have to be torn down and completely rebuilt.

Here is a link to the GoFundMe page: http://bit.ly/1IzhFBD

The Coal City tornado, with winds of 160 miles per hour, was reportedly the most powerful tornado to hit the Chicago area since a killer storm that destroyed homes and a high school in Plainfield in 1990, according to the National Weather service.

As many as 30 homes were damaged in Coal City, which has a population of 5,000. A high school athletic field and firehouse were also damaged in the Grundy County community.

At least nine tornados touched down in north central Illinois on Monday. The Coal City tornado was about three-quarters of a mile wide and on the ground for more than 16 miles, the weather service said.

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