On Sunday afternoon November 17th 2013, a violent storm system pounded the midwest with high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes. One of those tornadoes, rated an EF-4 by The National Weather Service had winds estimated at up to 190 mph, and ripped into the town of Washington IL.
The violent twister cut a path from one side of town to the other, several blocks of homes in one neighborhood were destroyed.
WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling said it may go down as one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in decades. "It appears the storm may have produced the most powerful Illinois November tornado on record outside of St. Louis (and possibly elsewhere) and may be one of the four most intense Great Lakes storms of the past five decades," he said.
Illinois Governor Quinn later declared seven counties disaster areas.
After working with local contacts in order to determine the best location to deploy to, Operation BBQ Relief volunteers as well as volunteers from the Illinois BBQ Alliance were in Washington by Tuesday. After setting up and firing up the smokers, volunteers were able to send out 1,300 meals the first day.
On Friday, the funeral for the only Washington fatality was held, OBR volunteers were asked to cater the memorial service.
On Saturday, November 23rd, Operation BBQ Relief surpassed a milestone. In a short thirty months since our formation after the Joplin MO tornado, we served our 500,000th meal.
At the conclusion of the six day deployment, Operation BBQ Relief volunteers served 25,600 meals to tornado victims and first responders.
Gordon Food Service, US Foods, Sam's Club, Illinois Barbeque Alliance, FS Propane, Morton Rentals, Swingin' Door Exchange, Usinger's, Old German Beer Hall, PIP Printing Peoria, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe', Grassano's Pizza, Famous Dave's
Jasen & Leslie Adam, Dave Richards, Ron Nunes, Tim Hester, Kevin Friedrich, Colette Deeb, Tina McChesney, Dottie McChesney, Wendy Lehman, JoLynn Truckenbrod, Jason Gwathney, John Wheeler, John Shields, Rob Marion, David McChesney, Brian Polak, Jeff Olson, Rich Jones, Hap Zook, Ron Helms, Jeff Parmele, Margo Nelsen, Shannon Gaunt, Jim Atkinson, Jan Kang, Gary Weigand, Cara Fittrof, Andrew Fittrof, Stephanie Renken, Mike Carson, Taylor Johnson, Elva Davila, Desiree Medina, Caitlyn Kurinsky, Beth Deynolds, Nathan Apodea, Tom Lenning, Bob Brown, Brandon Brown, Jeff Deeds, Andy Burch, Janeva Godby, Mike Therry, Casey Lehman, Sherri Johnson, Tim Johnson, Zach Boland, Tiffani Dutten, Jeromy Brown, Ron Parmele, Kathryn Walter, Eric Engel, Jenni Volk, Joel Bailey, Laura Trckenbrod, Katherine Gross, Liz Curley, Brianna Brown, Cam McChesney, Paul Meister, Ecan McNamera, Jerry Renken, Laura Davis, Megan Dicianan
BBQ Teams involved included:
82's BBQ, Illinois BBQ Alliance, Designated Smokin' Area, Bone-Head BBQ, Trails End Smokehouse
We apologize if you or your company is not listed, things can get crazy during a deployment, and we do the best we can to keep track of all the great volunteers and businesses who help make OBR happen. If you or your company is not listed, please let us know so we can add you to the list. Email us at email@example.com