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Disaster proclamation made for Cook, other counties after intense storms

Proclamation allows local entities increased access to state resources and emergency personnel

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (July 13, 2023) – 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 29 continuing through July 4. 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.

“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.”

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 2, 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 went into effect immediately when it was made on Tuesday, July 11.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.