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IV Emergency Services Help Each Other in the Wake of Deadly Storm

Image courtesy of The Salvation Army
Naplate and Ottawa bore the brunt of the damage inflicted by storms that howled through the area Tuesday night, and emergency services around the Illinois Valley helped out.

"We were unbelievably, incredibly lucky," said Peru police chief Doug Bernabei. "It went south on the river bank. It was right in between us and South Bluff."

For two hours, Illinois Valley Regional Dispatch fielded Ottawa's emergency calls during the power outage.

"We were inundated with 911 calls," Bernabei said. "I was very, very impressed with the telecommunicators here."

He joined five dispatchers in answering calls, and said it went smoothly.

"It was a tad crowded, but it helped," Bernabei said. "In the past, the calls were coming here no matter what, and we wouldn't have had five telecommunicators in here."

He said the city had sent public services help, including chainsaws, to storm-affected areas.

Mike Skowera, longtime Standard fire chief who previously lost his home to a tornado, said there was a funnel cloud sighted that never touched down north of Standard. He said Cedar Point and Granville sent engines to Naplate to help, but Standard did not.

"We couldn't see stripping a whole county. Especially with more bad weather coming," Skowera said. "Basically, it'd just be us and Hennepin with extrication abilities."

Source: News Tribune