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A block of destruction

Ten families on a block along Elmhurst Drive had always been close in a formal, neighborly sort of way.

They shared values, lawn tips and, on occasion, hot dogs and beer.

On Saturday, a tornado sliced down their street, shown above, injuring some of them, destroying their homes and, in a perverse way, bringing them even closer together.

The Times will follow these families in the coming months as they work to rebuild their block and their lives.

Until Saturday, their neighborhood was like any other hard-working, middle-class area.

The residents are salespeople, store managers, secretaries. Many of them have children.

All but one of the families own their homes, which range in price from about $60,000 to $95,000. All had insurance. And all the homes were demolished and probably will be bulldozed.

As residents wandered through the rubble Monday offering one another help, the use of a phone or a can of soda, they said they were lucky. They were alive.

"We've lost everything," said resident Mac McGlamery. "But there's a lot of compassion out here. I've seen the whole neighborhood really come together."

For a detailed look at Elmhurst Drive and the families who live there, see back page.