A dangerous storm system passed through the Midwest on February 29th, 2012. Dubbed the “Leap Year Tornadoes,” parts of the Midwest were hit hard. The morning after the storm passed through Harrisburg, IL our disaster team gathered to talk about a possible deployment. The small town in Southern Illinois had six deaths (a death a week later would result in seven), and initial reports were suggesting around 300+ damaged structures.
By 3PM I was on a plane headed to Illinois. I arrived 18HRS after the tornado hit. The small community had more resilience, hope, and heart than any I’ve ever seen or experienced. The resulting photos tell the story of Harrisburg, Illinois in the first few weeks of March 2012.