November Tornado Hits Close to Home for Some JJC Employees

Environmental, Health and Safety Manager Ed Vasil was just one of the JJC community members affected by the tornado that hit areas such as Braidwood, Diamond, and Coal City on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Tornado damage sustained at Christian Life Assembly Church in Diamond where Ed Vasil spent time helping with recovery efforts.

Vasil was at home in Braidwood at the time the tornado hit near his home, and he said he’ll never forget the sound. “I heard the proverbial freight train,” he said. “And it was also like someone was shaking a giant jar of change in the sky.”

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Though his home was spared, his church, Christian Life Assembly Church in Diamond, was not. Vasil took a week off work to help with recovery and clean-up efforts in the area, especially at the church, which sustained a lot of damage in the storm, including the roof getting torn off.

It was a week of tedious, hard work, but Vasil enjoyed seeing the spirit of community that the recovery efforts brought out in people.

“It was really neat to see all the people working together to get stuff done,” he said.

Amy Murphy is another JJC employee who was thankful for the volunteer work after the tornado. Murphy, who is the director of corporate and community services, said her life was forever changed after the tornado struck her home in Diamond that warm November Sunday.

“You could hear it sucking our house,” Murphy said. “Our ears were popping, it was so loud. And honestly, I’m surprised we didn’t have more damage.”

Her home is still livable, but some parts, such as her daughter Jessica’s bedroom, are completely gone.

“She lost all her stuff,” Murphy said. “My daughter said, ‘Well, it could be worse. We have a house. People in Washington don’t.’ That’s a 12-year-old kid saying this. I was very proud.”

Murphy said she and her family are doing great, and her home is expected to be completely remodeled by this summer.

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