SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today declared Wayne County a disaster area as a result of a tornado and severe weather system that moved through southeastern Illinois on Sunday, April 21, which resulted in one death and more than 50 people injured and requiring medical treatment. The tornado also caused extensive damage to homes, businesses, farms, local roads and other properties in Fairfield, Sims, Wayne City and Keenes. Power outages and extensive damage to power lines and trees also occurred throughout the area.
“Widespread tornado damage occurred in these communities. I’ve seen firsthand the damage done to homes, businesses, farms, local roads and other property in Wayne County,” Governor Ryan said. “This disaster declaration is necessary to speed up recovery efforts in these communities and unincorporated areas and authorize state agencies to assist in their clean-up.”
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the state’s response. Assistance is being provided by the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Commerce Commission and the American Red Cross.
This declaration also makes it possible for damage assessments to be conducted to determine if additional assistance is necessary.