Illinois congressional delegation seeks disaster declaration after tornadoes

Tribune reporter

WASHINGTON — The Illinois congressional delegation today wrote the president asking him for a disaster declaration for 15 counties hit by severe storms and tornados on Nov. 17.

The counties, they said, "were pummeled by the fourth largest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history. The storm system produced 67 tornadoes throughout the Midwest, 24 of which touched down in Illinois, causing widespread destruction throughout the state."

Six fatalities and at least 180 injuries resulted from the storms, they said.

The lawmakers, who wrote in support of Gov. Pat Quinn's request for a disaster declaration, said help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was needed in these central and southern Illinois counties: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford.

The  letter was sent by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and House Democrats Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Tammy Duckworth, William Enyart, Bill Foster, Luis Gutierrez, Robin Kelly, Dan Lipinski, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky and Brad Schneider and House Republicans Rodney Davis, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Roskam, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus.

"Gov. Quinn indicates that the damage to homes and businesses in these counties is of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond state and local capabilities," they wrote. | Twitter: @KatherineSkiba

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