Colona tire shop destroyed by Tuesday’s tornado

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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COLONA, Ill. (KWQC) - The owner of a Colona tire shop was digging through the rubble Tuesday after a tornado ripped through the area.

The storm took off the roof of a gas station and restaurant, which eventually landed on nearby Veloz Tire Repair on 5th Street.

“It’s really overwhelming,” owner Milo Veloz said. “I don’t have a shop. I don’t have a house.”

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 touched down just off Illinois Route 84 in the morning.

Veloz along with the Shell Gas Station and Hacienda Mexican Grill were left picking up the pieces before a potential second round of severe weather.

“They wanted to get what we could get out before the walls collapse even more with the wind or whatever,” Veloz said. “We’re just hoping that it gets by us and we don’t have no more damage. That’s what we’re praying for now.”

Tuesday afternoon, Veloz was able to get his race cars out of the shop. This comes as he lost his house in a fire just three weeks ago.

“I don’t know how much more I could take,” Veloz said. “We lost all the memories, all pictures, you know, we lost our three dogs — that was the hardest part.”

Across the street, Amber Real caught the gas station’s roof hitting the business on video. Some debris landed in her yard, but she received no major damage.

“We’re lucky,” Real said. “I look at all this and I’m just like amazed ... [a] sign this morning was sideways, but my mailbox is still standing normal.”

For Veloz, it will be a long road to recovery. About 25 people helped him clear up what he could.

“I have to get a demo permit to start demoing it,” Veloz said. “It’s nobody’s fault. It’s an act of god ... You take care of it.”

He expects insurance representatives to inspect the damage on Wednesday.

According to the NWS, the tornado was on the ground for a minute and traveled about half a mile in that time.