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Central Ill. community offering building permits

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(AP file photo)
Three people are seen walking down a street Nov. 18 where homes were destroyed by a tornado Nov. 17 in Washington. Rebuilding work is about to get underway in Washington. Residents began applying for building permits Monday. The tornado damaged or destroyed about 1,000 homes in the city of 16,000 people.

WASHINGTON – Rebuilding work could soon get underway in Washington, weeks after a massive tornado ripped through the central Illinois community.

Washington residents began applying for building permits Monday, according to a report in the (Peoria) Journal Star.

The Nov. 17 tornado that touched down in the city of about 16,000 residents damaged or destroyed about 1,000 homes, killing one resident. The storm was part of a series of two dozen twisters that hit the state, killing seven people. So far, 15 counties have been declared federal disaster areas.

A steady flow of residents visited with city officials Monday to get information about rebuilding efforts. Homeowners will need to fill out an application and pay a permit fee. They also need to present a construction plan that will be reviewed by an inspector.

But that could prove to be a lengthy process, said Jon Oliphant, Washington’s director of planning and development. That’s because the community has a single, part-time building inspector.

“We’re just asking for some patience from owners and contractors,” Oliphant said.

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