Governor Pat Quinn today declared Douglas, Jasper, Pope, Wabash, Wayne and Will counties state disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Sunday 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 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.
Governor Quinn also announced that volunteer efforts are well underway to assist the victims of the November 17 tornadoes that devastated several communities in Illinois. Financial donations to volunteer disaster response agencies are the best way to help. Cash donations allow these agencies to purchase exactly what is needed, when it is needed. If materials are donated, they should only be those items specifically requested by officials, and these should be brought to officially designated collection centers.