Gov. Pat Quinn issues Disaster Declaration to Ensure Support for Affected Areas; Governor to Survey Damage in Hardest Hit Communities
Governor Pat Quinn announced Nov. 18 that seven counties state disaster areas after severe storms generating tornadoes and high winds ripped across Illinois. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people are without power, and numerous roads throughout the state have been closed by fallen trees and downed power lines. At least six people are reported dead and dozens more injured.
On Nov. 19, Quinn today declared Douglas, Jasper, Pope, Wabash, Wayne and Will counties state disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Nov. 17 that affected several regions of the state. The declaration increases the number of declared counties to 13.
On Monday, Governor Quinn declared Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties state disaster areas after a severe storm system ripped across Illinois, spawning at least two EF4 tornadoes.
“Yesterday I saw firsthand the devastation caused by these deadly storms,” Governor Quinn said. “While the recovery will be long and hard, we will work in the coming days, weeks and months to assist these communities and help the people who live there rebuild their lives."
On Monday, Governor Quinn personally inspected the damage in some of Illinois' hardest hit communities: Washington, Diamond, Gifford, Brookport and New Minden.
The counties previously included in the Governor’s declaration are: Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties.
“Yesterday Illinois was hit extremely hard by deadly tornadoes that left many in a great deal of pain and loss,” Governor Quinn said. “Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible. As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover."
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms. The state of Illinois has personnel and assets that can be mobilized to help local government officials with disaster recovery, including such things as trucks, heavy equipment to remove debris, communications equipment and provide assistance with security and other public safety issues.
The State Incident Response Center (SIRC) in Springfield was activated Sunday afternoon and will remain operational as long as necessary. Liaisons from several state agencies are working with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas.
The state has dispatched technical rescue teams to a number of impacted locations across the state, and provided emergency generators, light towers and communications systems.
More information about the state’s flood response and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.