Governor JB Pritzker has issued a Disaster Proclamation based on the severe weather, tornadoes, and derecho that affected Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington Counties on June 29th continuing through July 4th. This declaration follows extensive work by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) with local governments to assess the impacts of the storms on the communities in the eight impacted counties.
While state officials have already been working closely and providing resources to impacted communities, this proclamation allows local entities increased access to state resources and emergency personnel who can assist in response and recovery efforts.
According to Rep. Charlie Meier, “Following recent storm damage in Washington County, the Governor’s office called to inform me that the State of Illinois is applying to receive a disaster proclamation from the federal government. Meaning, once approved, Washington County will receive emergency assistance to help with the expense of recovering following the recent severe storm damage. In addition, the Governor’s office, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and I are working to help St. Libory in St. Clair County to be included in the disaster proclamation. An official announcement will be forthcoming from the Governor’s office and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.”
Beginning June 29, several rounds of severe storms passed through Illinois producing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Central Illinois experienced a derecho that brought damaging straight-line winds resulting in five confirmed tornadoes, along with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour across multiple counties. The tornados and straight-line winds resulted in large debris fields, affecting homeowners, businesses, utilities, and local governments. The storms also caused disruptions to transportation due to flash flooding and debris on the roadways.
On July 2nd, additional severe storms dropped significant rainfall, including localized totals of upwards of eight inches of water in a short period of time, causing flash flooding in and around the Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.
Additionally, the high heat and humidity necessitated the opening of shelters and other public places to protect Illinoisians from heat-related injuries.
“County Emergency Management Agencies are assessing the damages with our Recovery Division on the ground in each of the affected communities continuing to evaluate the situation,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau.
Based on reports received by the IEMA-OHS, local resources and capabilities in the communities hit by these storms have been exhausted, and State resources are needed to respond to and recover from the effects of the severe storms. The Disaster Proclamation goes into effect immediately.