SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today declared Marion County a disaster area as a result of a severe weather system that moved through south central Illinois on Thursday, May 9, which resulted in 2 deaths and multiple injuries. Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds caused extensive damage to houses and mobile homes in Centralia. Initial reports indicate that 12 mobile homes were destroyed, 1 mobile home sustained major damage, 3 mobile homes sustained minor damage and 1 house was destroyed in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park on the south end of Centralia. Power outages and extensive damage to power lines and trees also occurred in the area.
“For the fourth time in nearly a month, Illinois has been hit with severe weather that has caused multiple injuries and substantial damage, and two of these storms have resulted in deaths,” Governor Ryan said. “I have determined that this disaster declaration is necessary to speed up recovery efforts for the disaster victims.”
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, and the American Red Cross.
This declaration also makes it possible for damage assessments to be conducted to determine if additional assistance is necessary.