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|Southern Illinois Counties Declared State Disaster Areas
|Governor Pat Quinn has declared six southern Illinois counties state disaster areas after a storm swept through the area last Friday, damaging homes and out-buildings and leaving tens of thousands without power.
"It's heartbreaking to see the widespread damage this storm caused to homes and businesses throughout this area, and I want to assure you that the State of Illinois will do everything within our power to help these communities get back on their feet," Quinn said. "I'm truly inspired by the spirit of the hundreds of volunteers and utility workers who are working dawn to dusk to speed the recovery process."
After touring the region Tuesday, Quinn declared Gallatin, Randolph and Saline counties state disaster areas, an action that ensures state resources will be available to support local governments in their storm recovery efforts. On Saturday, the governor declared Franklin, Jackson and Williamson counties state disaster areas.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating local requests for assistance with several state agencies that have personnel and assets that can be mobilized to help communities recover from disaster, including personnel and equipment to assist with security and other public safety issues, as well as trucks, heavy equipment and work crews to speed debris removal. IEMA staff members are also assisting affected communities with damage assessments and development of debris removal plans.
The storm initially knocked out power to 68,800 homes and businesses. Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris says by Monday afternoon, roughly 50 miles of new power lines had been strung and 800 utility poles replaced. He says crews are battling muddy terrain and the company has brought in bulldozers to pull bucket trucks and other equipment though the mud. Morris says scattered outages will likely continue through Friday.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|05 12 09 by Newsroom
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