Urges Illinois residents to make donations to support recovery
GIFFORD – Nov. 22, 2013. Less than a week before Thanksgiving, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today surveyed storm damage in the towns of Gifford and Brookport and urged Illinois residents to donate to recovery efforts. A total of 15 Illinois counties have been declared disaster areas by the Governor in the aftermath of Sunday's tornadoes.
“The work to rebuild these communities is just beginning,” said Simon, who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. “As we get ready to celebrate the holidays, I urge people to honor the spirit of the season by reaching into their pockets to help support ongoing cleanup and recovery efforts.”
Officials from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began preliminary assessments Thursday that will enable towns to apply for federal disaster aid. Earlier this week, Simon participated in the Help on the Homefront Telethon, which raised more than $786,000 for the American Red Cross, and fund raising efforts are ongoing.
More than 22,000 meals have been provided by the Red Cross, which deployed 21 emergency response trucks from around the country and operated nine overnight shelters until residents could find alternative housing, said Kelly Formoso, manager of the Champaign office of the Red Cross.
The National Weather Service reports that 24 tornadoes swept across Illinois on Sunday, killing six people, injuring 180 residents and devastating rural communities. The Governor expects the total number of homes damaged and destroyed to exceed 1,500. However, residents in the areas affected are beginning to see signs of recovery. Power has been restored in several areas, and schools are open.
In order to donate to the American Red Cross, click here
or visit www.redcross.org
. Donations designated for “Illinois tornadoes and storms” will remain local.