Businesses and agencies in Ford County have stepped up to assist neighbors in nearby Gifford devastated Sunday's tornado.
The Paxton Record is a collection site for donations of toiletries and hosehold items. Another drop-off site is at Shields Automart Paxton. The Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton has offered to temporarily house displaced Gifford residents.
Gibson City and Paxton work crews helped get water service restored to the Gifford community.
Ford County avoided the destruction that was caused by Sunday's storm system in the northern Champaign County town.
No tornado touched down in Ford County; there were only straight-line winds, according to the National Weather service.
Ford County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dennis Higgins said he spent most of Sunday afternoon in Gifford and the surrounding rural area. Higgins said he first checked about a dozen homes in the country around Gifford, all of which were "completely gone or not livable at all," to make sure nobody was still in the homes or injured.
Higgins was also in Gifford after checking on about a 12-mile area.
Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren said six Paxton firefighters were in Gifford on Sunday helping to search and secure homes. Gibson Area Ambulance Service also sent two ambulance crews to Gifford.
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