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State Aid Coming To Tornado-Ravaged Downstate Communities

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Extensive damage after an EF-4 tornado hit Harrisburg, Ill. (Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

Extensive damage after an EF-4 tornado hit Harrisburg, Ill. (Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — With Federal Emergency Management Agency officials twice denying aid, Gov. Pat Quinn says the State of Illinois is moving to assist Southern Illinois communities devastated by tornadoes last month.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, FEMA has twice denied aid for Harrisburg, Ill., and several nearby counties devastated by tornadoes Feb. 29.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

Quinn calls the ruling disappointing, but says he will soon announce state aid for those areas.

“We want to do everything that we can as a state to help those men and women, businesses as well, and local governments that have been affected by the tornado, and that’s what we will do,” Quinn said.

Seven people were killed when the tornado struck Harrisburg. The storms also damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses across a five-county area.

FEMA denied assistance as it felt a state declaration, coupled with charitable donations and private insurance, would suffice. They denied assistance a second time when Quinn field an appeal.

Quinn had sought a federal major disaster declaration for the state from the federal government, and assistance for downstate Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.

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