Gov. Quinn tours damaged Brookport community


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photographer - Mason Watkins

BROOKPORT, Ill. - Illinois state officials, including Governor Pat Quinn, have been touring the damaged communities. Quinn wants to emphasize hope for the people who's homes are now in shambles and those who lost loved ones. He also reminded people to come together to get the help they need.

Standing just feet away from the place where one of the lives was lost in Sunday's tornado, Governor Quinn said his heart was broken.

"We were hit hard in Illinois by these tornados yesterday more than any other time in our history," Quinn said.

He reminded people that they would have to come together to ensure they get the financial help they need from the federal government. He emphasized, "It's really, really important that we have accurate assessment as best we can. It's a traumatic time."

Quinn says the state will be able to combine the damage from all five communities hit hardest, but then had an Emergency Management agent talk about how it needs to be reported.

"Make sure you're making contact with your insurance companies as soon as possible. Make sure that you're reporting the damage to local authorities. Take pictures of your property and document all the things that happened," Illinois Emergency Management Agency director Jon Munken said.

The more information that's collected, the better.

Time is of the essence, especially for those needing money to help pay for temporary shelter.

"We never quit until the job is done and that's why I'm here today. Whatever part of Illinois needs a helping hand, we want to help them," Quinn said.

Quinn declared Massac County a state disaster area earlier today. He says Pope, Wayne, and Wabash counties will become disaster areas tomorrow.

He compared the situation to the Harrisburg tornado, saying that community just missed getting federal aid and that there are a total of five communities this time that will be adding to the total number of damage.

Quinn also spoke to President Barack Obama today and was told the state of Illinois has his support in any assistance it needs.