The tornado appeared to travel along the high lines near the Bruns Road area in Manhattan. Crews were still replacing damaged towers Sunday. | Erin Gallagher/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 26, 2013 6:34AM
The windchill that brought the morning’s temperatures into single digits, volunteers were not swayed. About fifty people showed up Sunday at the Patricoski home on Bruns Road in Manhattan. Many brought buckets, shovels and rakes. Young and old alike, many crawling on their knees, cleared debris off a several-acre hay field.
The work is far from over. On Tuesday, volunteers are needed in Frankfort. The Will County and Cook County Farm Bureaus are coordinating an effort to meet at Mark Yunker’s farm on Sheer near Dralle. First Farm Credit will be providing lunch for the volunteers.
“Wear good shoes and warm clothes and good gloves,” said Jim Robbins, past president of Will County Farm Bureau.
Bureau manager Mark Schneidewind said that several machine sheds and horse barns were severely damaged in that area. Sheet metal was strewn across fields for miles. County wide, about three dozen farms were directly impacted, he said.
Tuesday’s clean up will be much different than Sunday’s, according to local farmer John Kiefner, who was one of the Bruns Road clean up organizers. He said that some volunteers will be walking through standing corn. An acre of corn in this area is valued at about $750 to $900. Combines won’t be able to harvest the fields until the timbers, shingles and sheet metal are cleared.
The Patricoski property on Bruns had some damage to the roof and outdoor structures. Luckily, the home remained intact. However, the field to the west of house was completely littered with debris from other properties.
“This (cleanup effort) is wonderful – a sure sign of community and resiliency and human spirit,” said homeowner Marian Patricoski.
People heard about the effort through word of mouth, church organizations and on Facebook. Many never met the homeowners. Some came from far away. Anyone interested in volunteering Tuesday should meet at 9 a.m. at 24400 S. Sheer Road, Frankfort.