On Jan. 23, Governor Rauner directed the deployment of Illinois Task Force 1, an 80-member search and rescue team, to assist local responders as they search for people who may have been trapped after a tornado tore through Woodhaven Lakes campground in Lee County last evening. The village of Coal City in Grundy County was also hard hit by a tornado Monday evening.
Governor Rauner also issued a state disaster proclamation for Lee and Grundy counties to make available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.
“Tornadoes and severe storms have once again caused devastation in northern Illinois communities,” Gov. Rauner said. “The state is supporting local responders in these hard-hit communities to ensure the safety of people affected by these terrible storms and help them begin the recovery process.”
Illinois Task Force 1 is the state’s urban search and rescue team with specialized training and equipment to support extremely difficult recovery efforts. In addition to 80 team members, the group includes trained search canines.
Governor Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield Monday evening after a line of severe storms and tornadoes moved across northern Illinois. The SEOC was staffed throughout the night with representatives from several state agencies, responder mutual aid organizations, and the American Red Cross to ensure response assets and personnel could be quickly deployed to assist local governments and all impacted areas.
In addition, field personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources are assisting affected communities.
For updates on the current situation, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.ready.illinois.gov.