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‘Everyone is in shock:’ Cleanup effort continues in Woodridge following tornado

Woodridge residents continued to pick up the pieces Monday night in the aftermath of a tornado that ripped through the community Sunday night.

Some trees and homes were struck by the tornado as it cut through the village’s Rosewood neighborhood, located on Woodridge Drive south of 75th Street.

Benjamin, who declined to give his last name, said the toll that the storm dealt is greater than anyone could have imagined.

“Most people weren’t prepared,” Benjamin said. “I’m together enough I can deal with it. Most would freak out.”

Benjamin said he surveyed his property only to find shingles missing from part of the roof and damage to a fence and trees in the yard.

“It’s going to need new shingles,” he said. “I haven’t had an official estimate done.”

The storm prompted authorities to close several streets to through traffic.

Some passed through the neighborhood looking to view the damage left behind by the tornado, and some set out to help those impacted by it.

Theresa Grzenia said she and several others felt compelled to devote most of the day to lending a helping hand.

“We’ve been pulling things together since 10 o’clock this morning,” Grzenia said.

Grzenia is the executive director for 4 K.I.D.S. Sake, a Bolingbrook non-profit organization whose mission is to assist and advocate on behalf of children in difficult situations. Grzenia was leading a group around the neighborhood in distributing items to help people get through the week.

“After the storms hit yesterday, we had a lot of families reaching out to us with requests for candles, flashlights with batteries, some water and some snacks for the house,” Grzenia said. “A few families reached out for diapers, wipes and formula. So, we collected what we could and we started reaching out to a lot of the families that were impacted.”

Elsewhere, Nicole Rivera was walking around the neighborhood viewing the damage left behind by the storm.

“I told him it’s not too often you see things like this and how unfortunate it is,” Rivera said, referring to her son, Antonio Rivera, 7, who stood next to her.

Rivera was among those heading to Thomas Jefferson Junior High School where the Red Cross was stationed to help people.

Rivera said she wasn’t displaced by the storm, but she knows people who live in the apartment building next to her house that were.

She described the scene along Woodridge Drive as “crazy,” saying “everyone is in shock right now.”

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