Pekin residents continue cleaning up after deadly tornado - News, Weather & Sports

Pekin residents continue cleaning up after deadly tornado

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PEKIN, IN (WAVE) – People are turning to each other just trying to move forward, picking up what's left.

"Nothing is for certain, you think you have your life figured out and it can change in a heartbeat," said John Vest, who's mother's was destroyed during Friday's deadly tornado. 

Angels Gather Here- three words on a wooden sign, hanging on a front door really say it all when you see what's left of Vest's mother's home.

"That sign was there before and in that bay window there were 8-10 angel figurines and not one of them was damaged," said Vest. 

But the rest of the house that sits overlooking beautiful Jordan Lake can not be salvaged. Vest's mom and step-dad moved in more than decade ago.

"Their plan was to retire here pay it off and have a getaway right at their own home," said Vest. 

While the tornado ripped through Pekin, they were huddled in the basement watching their dream crumble. 

"At that time I received a text from my mom that they had taken cover and that a storm was coming through their home," said Vest. 

That's all he heard until hours later when he got word they had made it out alive, despite losing nearly everything.

Next door, Missy Caldwell's home was barely touched. "When I pulled up and seen that it was minor damage," said Caldwell. "I felt really grateful after seeing the other devastation that is around here."

But now she lends a hand, along with perfect strangers. "In 2004 our farm got hit and we are just out returning a favor to different people," said Sammie Wright, 14-year-old volunteer. 

At a time many are just glad they are still here to help, and at a home where angels gathered during Friday's deadly storm.

"Call if what you want, but I'm a good believing Christian and my family is too and that's what we believe took care of them and it's nothing, but the by the grace of God, that they are all still alive," said Vest. 
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