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State issues disaster declaration that includes Sangamon, Morgan counties

Storm uproots near Lake Springfield.
Randy Eccles
Storm uproots near Lake Springfield.

Governor JB Pritzker has issued a Disaster Proclamation based on the severe weather recent severe weather that impacted Springfield and other areas in recent days.

The National Weather Service determined a derecho, which included five tornadoes and straight-line winds, occurred June 29 in central Illinois and left a large number of power outages, downed trees and other damage. Springfield was able to completely power restoration this week.

Along with Sangamon and Morgan counties, the declaration includes Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough and Washington due to storms that occurred through July 4.

The proclamation allows local entities increased access to state resources and emergency personnel who can assist in response and recovery efforts.

Springfield is among those planning to seek federal disaster relief through FEMA.

“Many Illinois communities suffered extensive damages due to last week’s torrential rain and severe weather,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “To support those impacted across the state, I have signed a disaster proclamation to mobilize every available resource, accelerating the recovery process and providing relief for our residents. I want to thank IEMA-OHS for their ongoing coordination.”

“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.

The derecho in central Illinois 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 Illinoisans from heat-related injuries.

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