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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 1999

GOVERNOR DECLARES CASS AND HANCOCK COUNTIES DISASTER AREAS

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor Ryan today declared Cass and Hancock counties disaster areas as a result of a severe weather system that moved through west central Illinois inflicting heavy damage to homes and businesses.

"Although most of the state escaped severe damage from the widespread storms last night, extensive damage to homes and businesses did occur in Ashland and Hamilton," Ryan said. "This disaster declaration will speed the recovery efforts in these communities and authorize state agencies to assist in clean-up."

Ryan made the declaration after personally surveying the damaged area today.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the state's response in these counties. Assistance is being provided by the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the American Red Cross.

The declaration also makes it possible for damage assessments to be conducted to determine if additional assistance is necessary.


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