Just last spring, flooding was bad enough to warrant a disaster declaration in this region. Three years earlier, burberry ties a different flood caused $20 million in damage to the city, not to mention what residents recalled as several feet of water sloshing inside the local grocery.
Then there was the ice storm that downed tree limbs all over this part of the state in 2009; a tornado that damaged hundreds of homes here in the 1980s; the flood of 1937 when Harrisburg was, in the words of the city’s official Web site, nearly wiped off the map; and, as is common in this part of Illinois, an economic struggle lasting decades to hold onto jobs and young people in a coal-mining town that was once had many more residents.
“We’ve taken our share of blows,” said Bill Ghent, an insurance agent who stood on Thursday staring at his own battered house in a neighborhood of houses battered by a system of violent tornadoes that swept through the Midwest and South this week leaving at least 13 dead, 6 of them just blocks from Mr. Ghent’s house. “The truth is, we’re used to taking cover by now, one way or another.”
In a city of 9,017, as the names of the dead from the latest storm began to trickle out, there was a special toll — most everyone knew at least a few of them. Among those killed: a married couple who had survived health problems, friends said, only to perish in the storm; Jaylynn Ferrell, burberry watches sale 22, a nurse who taught Sunday school to toddlers; Mary Osman, 75, a widow who had once worked as a hatmaker.
But if residents in this region of Illinois have had to take hit after hit, they also have had to rebuild, over and over.
So, with whining seemingly not an option here, homeowners were by Thursday carting out tree limbs, combing through rubble for necessities and matter-of-factly snapping photographs for insurance adjusters, as city officials pledged that Harrisburg would, of course, soldier on again.
“Nothing fazes these people,” said Rhonda Belford of the state treasurer’s office, who was handing out information in Harrisburg about a disaster recovery loan program — a program that she said the place already was acquainted with, thanks in part to last year’s flooding.
“There is a real tradition of rising to the occasion in southern Illinois,” Gov. Pat Quinn said in an interview, ticking down his own surprisingly long list of disasters that have brought him to the region in just the last three years. (There was the ice storm, he said, “a siege where they lost power for eight days, and then there was a horizontal hurricane.”)
Harrisburg is hundreds of miles from Chicago, and it feels, some residents here happily say, like a world away, with an atmosphere more Southern than Northern. A city since 1889, Harrisburg boomed as a coal mining town. In 1930, its population was 15,659, but the numbers have since faded, as mining slowed and small towns all around grew smaller.
In recent years, mining has picked up again in the area, residents here said, and there are signs of economic growth. Harrisburg, a county seat, draws shoppers from smaller towns nearby, and some of burberry sunglasses the houses among those destroyed in the tornado were part of a well-to-do neighborhood near a country club.
Still, the median household income in Harrisburg is $33,278, more than $20,000 less than in the state as a whole, and a larger percentage of people are living below the poverty level.
“The economy is so bad,” said Bill Horning, 76, who is retired from the local bank. ”Yes, there is mining, but not that much, and there’s just no other industry in any way, shape or form.” Residents complained of an aging, vanishing population and a younger generation with few choices but the mines, the military or fast food restaurants.
“It’s not easy to be 19 around here,” said Eli Rodgers, who had huddled in a closet with his fiancée and her family before dawn on Wednesday as much of their house blew away when the storm hit. “It took me six months to get a job,” he said, at the local Walmart, but he added that he hopes to get a spot in the mines.
As the sounds of repairs — whirring saws, a buzzing power generator, endless lines of rumbling supply trucks — filled the air here on Thursday, some residents speculated about why so many natural burberry sunglasses outlet disasters touch the region.
Sure, they said, everyplace has its own set of storms to remember, but this seemed like an awful lot. Some guessed that farm fields outside towns might allow tornadoes to build strength. Others said the fallout from the Ohio River, with nearby streams that feed it, was always destined to be a problem for Harrisburg.
“They built this town in a swamp, and you can write that,” said Doyle Hedger, 83.
But in the parts of the city most damaged by the storm, few people were asking such questions. They were more worried about finding their wallets, their medications, their photographs, and then just getting on with things.
“What people don’t understand is you just make it out, just make it done,” Mr. Ghent said, glancing out at a sloping hill covered in trash, boards and insulation. “We’ll be mowing grass here in a few months.”
Ashley Plumlee, whose daughters, 5 and 6, had crouched beneath a mattress through this storm in their Barbie bicycle helmets — now kept at the ready, she said, for such occurrences — seemed less certain. Last year, a peculiar wind storm had swept through their yard, Ms. Plumlee said, destroying the family’s swing set. On Thursday, a new swing set was a pile of crumpled metal, lifted up and dumped not far from a next-door neighbor’s trailer, cheapburberryoutlet2012 which had blown away.
“Last year we got by fine, and this year we barely got by,” she said, searching through the items that filled her yard. “I don’t know if next year I want to risk it. Maybe we need a basement.”
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