Photo belonging to a Washington, Ill. woman found on Madison St. after tornado

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

Joanna Skubish, sponsorship coordinator at Park District of Oak Park, found a photo of two young girls while walking along Madison St. Wednesday.

"I was walking in to work, and saw a photo lying face down on the sidewalk," wrote Skubish in an email. 'December, 1998' was written by hand across the back.

It was a co-worker, communications and marketing coordinator Jennifer La Fleur who suggested that the photo may belong to someone whose belongings had been swept away by the raging winds of Sunday's tornadoes. She too was affected by the storms. La Fleur hid in a cellar with family in Pekin, Ill. the day of the tornadoes.

"I realize the likelihood of this being a photograph from someone in central Illinois is low, but you never know," wrote La Fleur on her Facebook page along with the photo yesterday. The photo appeared on the Park District Facebook page as well.

Around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon someone posted on the Park District's page claiming the photograph.

"Jennifer, these are my granddaughters," wrote Sue Wheeler Cowan. "It came from a demolished home in Washington."

Cowan went on to thank La Fleur and write that her family in Washington was, "safe and unhurt."

One reason Skubish wanted to share the story of discovering a photograph belonging to a woman almost 150 miles away?

"I thought Oak Parkers [would] want to keep their eyes open in the coming days," wrote Skubish. "Perhaps there are other mementos that made it to Oak Park."

Reader Comments

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What's it matter  

Posted: November 22nd, 2013 2:53 PM

no to residency for employees, but I think yes for the director Sounded like she was visiting relatives. Couldn't image driving to and from pekin everyday. Not really sure why residency would matter, it doesn't at the school, pd or fd


Posted: November 21st, 2013 11:50 PM

Thanks for the article, Ashley. You might be interested in this graphic which charts various items from Washington,IL and where they have been found.

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 7:40 PM

Curious--does the OP Park District have a residency requirement for workers or was the other woman just in Pekin to visit?


Posted: November 21st, 2013 6:50 PM

A good place to post found items:

Judith from Oak Park  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 6:37 PM

The tornado didn't pass over Oak Park. Debris was found all over. Once things reach the atmospheric air streams they move over 100 miles per hour.

Violet Aura  

Posted: November 21st, 2013 5:56 PM

You know what this means, right? The funnel cloud must have passed right over OPRF!!! What is totally kewl is that Madison and Washington are next to each other. Like wow, man...Far out...

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