Posted on August 10, 2021
Pictured are Eric Gutbrod, Brian Thorsen and Eric Ramierz
Parks staff Gutbrod, Thorsen and Ramierz assisted Woodridge Park District with clean-up from the tornado last June. They chainsawed and chipped damaged trees. They worked eight hours each day – Ramirez working two days – 6/22 & 23, Thorsen working on 6/22 and Gutbrod working on 6/23.
Woodridge put out a “Call for Assistance,” and several villages and park districts sent staff to assist with clean-up. In addition to neighborhoods, the tornado impacted ten park sites.
Here is the thank you letter from the Woodridge Park District to Executive Director Jim Reuter:
July 15, 2021
Carol Stream Park District, Mr. Jim Reuter
849 W. Lies Road Carol Stream, IL 60188
Re: July 20th Woodridge Tornado Multi-Agency Assistance
On behalf of the Woodridge Park District Board of Commissioners, staff and the Woodridge community, we sincerely thank the Carol Stream Park District, you and your maintenance crews for assisting in the multi-agency disaster recovery efforts immediately following the June 20, 2021 tornado. The tornado cut a 2. 7 mile-long 4 block-width path of destruction across Woodridge impacting ten park sites.
The quick response to the “Call for Assistance” was truly impressive. Collectively, over 500 manhours combined with specialized tree removal equipment were volunteered by the Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hanover Park, Lemont, Lisle, Lombard, Palatine, and Wheaton park districts.
Our maintenance crews and especially the residents surrounding each impacted park site truly appreciated the quick response, which provided an immediate safe haven and opportunity to provide some level of normalcy for many to recreate and exercise amongst all the destruction.
The damage assessment is ongoing to include the loss of priceless 100 year+ oak and hickory trees along with damage to some capital assets (e.g. park shelters, site furnishings, etc.). Thankfully, no deaths were reported.
As one resident told me a couple of days after the tornado, “it is times like this when we really realize the benefit of our taxes, when We experience a coordinated professional response like this especially in desperate times of need. We shouldn’t take for granted all that you do for the community. Thank Your
Hopefully we never have to reciprocate in your community under similar circumstances, but if so, you can count on the Woodridge Park District to assist. Once again, the parks and recreation field stepped up to the plate when asked. THANK YOU!!
Mike Adams, Executive Director, Woodridge Park District
Bill Cohen, President, Woodridge Park District Board of Commissioners