Watch CBS News

Evidence Of Lives Devastated By Downstate Tornado Found Near Chicago

(CBS) – Twice a year, April Gerstung of Morris travels 85 miles to Washington, Ill. to visit the town's quaint downtown shops.

On Sunday, pieces of Washington came to her.

SLIDESHOW: Town Destroyed By Tornado
RELATED: History Of Tornadoes In Chicago Area
RELATED: Two Twisters Rated EF-4, Disaster Area Declared

Debris from someone's life landed at her family's 90-acre campsite in Grundy County hours after a devastating tornado flattened parts of Washington in central Illinois. Among the items: a Washington couple's bank slip; fragments of piano sheet music; pieces of roof and insulation; instructions for a clock radio.

The items are anything but mundane to Gerstung. They represent a life – or lives – uprooted by catastrophe.

"It's somebody's life that's in my yard," she says. "I'm sitting in my house tonight eating dinner, I have a roof over my head and I'm warm. I'm OK. I'm thinking – these people aren't."

Gerstung plans to visit the address on the bank statement, saying, "I hope I find two strong people who are OK."

She wasn't the only person saddened by far-flung mementos from central Illinois.

Karl Eggers found a bank statement and a torn page from a comic book in Plainfield, roughly 116 miles from the Washington address on the statement.

David Drake discovered a savings bond in Lockport.

"We're just thankful there's an address on it where we can hopefully find this person alive and well and send it back to them, so they have something coming back," he said.

A Facebook page sprang up in hopes of reuniting the items with their owners.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.