Forever linked in history: Brookport, Diamond, Gifford, New Minden, Washington. Those are the five towns hit in a tornado outbreak one year ago today. Six people died, amazing in light of the property damage that Sunday, particularly in the Tazewell County community of Washington. Besides the warnings, the preparation, and the simple fact that many people were not home but attending churches which were untouched, a major area of response draws high marks.
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“One of the things that worked really well was the creation of the Multi Agency Resource Center, or MARC. It was designed to bring together all of the different agencies in one location so people didn't have to go to a bunch of different locations,” said Patti Thompson of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The Nov. 17, 2013, outbreak –along with one in Southern Illinois Feb. 29, 2012 – should remove all doubt: tornadoes can come any month of the year.