After the severe weather, tornadoes, and straight-line windstorms that Illinois saw toward the end of June and beginning of July, the Governor has issued a disaster proclamation for eight Illinois counties. This proclamation went into immediate effect for Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington counties to address results of inclement weather occurring from June 29 to July 4.
This disaster proclamation comes after many citizens have highlighted the struggles they are facing because of this weather. Illinois residents have been combatting flooding and power outages in some places, as well as other damage from the strong storms.
Declaring the weather event a disaster is an important step in increasing local communities’ access to state resources and emergency personnel. This comes after the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) released reports saying that local resources and community capabilities have been exhausted and that State resources are needed to respond to this emergency.
On July 24, the Governor expanded a disaster proclamation to cover another 13 counties impacted by the June 29 to July 2 severe weather events. Originally the declaration covered eight counties: Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington. Now, that designation has been increased to cover Calhoun, Christian, Clark, Cumberland DeWitt, Douglas, Logan, Macon Monroe, Moultrie, Pike, Scott, and Vermillion counties.
This proclamation comes as a result of a judgment by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security. Based on their reports, both local resources and community capabilities have been so exhausted that State resources are now needed to recover. Thus, this new proclamation will allow the 20 counties to access state resources and emergency personnel to assist in response and recovery efforts.