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RyanShoff
11-22-2013, 03:09 PM
When FLL team 5172 "All the Good Names Were Taken" from Washington, IL picked a natural disaster to research for the 2013 game "Nature's Fury", the students picked earthquakes. The mentors suggested that maybe tornadoes would be a better choice, but the students stuck with earthquakes.

Last weekend the tornado in Washington touched down in the neighborhood where some of 5172 lives. Hundreds of homes where completely destroyed and many more people are still displaced from homes with broken windows, torn off roofs and worse. Electricity, gas and water are slowly being restored to the areas along the storms edge.

5172 isn't alone. The FIRST website lists many other FLL teams from Washington and other affected areas.

FRC team 4143 Mars/Wars is made up of students mostly from Metamora and Washington. Maybe 20% of the students are from Washington. Many of our students and mentors have been affected, some greatly, by the storm.

Metamora and Washington, while together for FRC, are football rivals. This year Washington has the better team. They won a state quarter final match the day before the tornado and are currently undefeated. Unable to practice at home, the team is preparing for the semi final match at Illinois State University's football field, while back home, their families try to recover. If you are in Illinois, you might catch Saturday's game on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and cheer for Washington. Some of the players on the field also participate in FRC.

If you can help, give money to organizations like the Red Cross, so that in the future, they'll be ready to mobilize as quickly as they did for this disaster.

Thankfully, there was only one fatality in Washington. Most of the homes have basements. Those who could reach the basements survived and warning systems worked. FLL teams researching tornadoes should take note.

Ryan Shoff
Mentor 4143