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Pritzker declares disaster in 28 Illinois counties

Workers attempt to clear debris as part of a search and rescue operation on Saturday at an Amazon Distribution Hub in Edwardsville. Police confirmed at least two people died.
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Workers attempt to clear debris as part of a search and rescue operation on Saturday at an Amazon Distribution Hub in Edwardsville. Police confirmed at least two people died.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says his office has issued an official disaster declaration for Madison County, as well as 27 other central and southern Illinois counties hit by tornadoes and severe weather Friday night into Saturday morning.

Pritzker toured the Amazon facility in Edwardsville Monday morning - the site where six workers were killed as a tornado tore across the region. He says his office is working with Amazon to identify why the facility collapsed, and if there are ways to better protect people in the future.

"We are ensuring that there is a full understanding of what happened to these individuals in their final moments. While we cannot prevent natural disasters, we can strive to prevent future tragedies and ensure that all Illinoisans make it home safe at the end of their shift."

The governor says he was glad to hear power has been restored to storm-damaged areas that had been without electricity through parts of the weekend. He says cleanup crews are still working to assess damage and restore what can be fixed.

Pritzker says homeowners who experienced property loss or damage can contact local emergency management offices, and his office will assist with federal disaster applications.

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