Washington tornado survivor 'thrown around' inside his home


by KMOV.com Staff


Posted on November 18, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 6:00 PM

(KMOV.com) -- With damage as far as the eye can see, crews are still going through the rubble and looking for victims in Washington, Illinois.

Those who survived the storm are returning to try and salvage anything they can.

“I don’t know how I survived, it was hectic it’s devastating,” said resident Chris Lancaster. “I don’t know what happened. I really don’t know how I survived or made it out alive.”

Lancaster did make it out alive, though he was injured as he rode out the tornado in his home. His home was one of hundreds that were destroyed as the tornado cut a three mile path that was an eighth of a mile wide.

Lancaster was thrown around his home by the storm, and ended up in the basement.

“All through my house- my refrigerator hit me and everything else,” he said. “It knocked me into my music room and I got my senses back and got over the refrigerator and to the stairs.”

Search teams went back through the destroyed neighborhoods, making a last check for any victims. Over 120 were injured.

Local officials say they believe everyone had enough warning.

“I think if you look at the rubble and think about only one death I think we did the right thing fortunately a lot were in church so a lot were not home,” said Washington Mayor Gary Manier. “Look at the devastation. People had to have warning to get out of this.”

In the coming days, the focus will be on cleaning up and rebuilding, which will likely take months.