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Taylorville

An overhead photo from a drone provided by Herald & Review media partner WCIA shows the damage after a tornado hit Taylorville on Dec. 1.

There are still reminders of the powerful tornado that struck Taylorville five months ago next week.

Trees snapped as if toothpicks.

Roofs cleaved off.

Remnants of structures too damaged to fix.

Each day, those become fewer and fewer. And that's a testament to the power of community spirit.

As written about in today's Herald & Review, Taylorville came together since that evening of Dec. 1 and rebuilt bit by bit with shovels and hammers and nails.

The sheer scope of the damage makes the recovery all the more incredible. The EF-3 storm had winds of 155 mph, was a half-mile wide and cut across 11 miles in 20 minutes. Two others also touched down in Christian County that same night, in a volley of twisters across the state.

Taylorville got the worst of it. At least 500 buildings were damaged, including some ripped apart like cardboard boxes.

The photos from the next morning revealed houses with upper floors, brick chimneys and pink insulation exposed. The debris field spread across block after block.

Incredibly, just 26 injuries and no deaths were reported.

And then came the donations. Fundraisers were organized. Food, money and water poured in.

Today, the clean-up continues and challenges remain. But there are just as many lessons -- the importance of social media in getting the word out about helping others, the importance of storm warnings, the importance of taking cover quickly.

After a winter of rebuilding, this is a season of rebirth for Taylorville.

Their hard work and community spirit are a lesson for all of us.

Coverage of Taylorville tornado

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