As reported in a news release from the Governor's office dated July 11, 2023, a Disaster Proclamation was issued by Governor Pritzker based on the severe weather, tornadoes, and derecho that affected Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington Counties on June 29th continuing through July 4th. This declaration follows extensive work by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) with local governments to assess the impacts of the storms on the communities in the eight impacted counties.
While state officials have already been working closely and providing resources to impacted communities, this proclamation allows local entities increased access to state resources and emergency personnel who can assist in response and recovery efforts.
Beginning June 29, several rounds of severe storms passed through Illinois producing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Central Illinois experienced a derecho that brought damaging straight-line winds resulting in five confirmed tornadoes, along with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour across multiple counties. The tornados and straight-line winds resulted in large debris fields, affecting homeowners, businesses, utilities, and local governments. The storms also caused disruptions to transportation due to flash flooding and debris on the roadways.
On July 2nd, additional severe storms dropped significant rainfall, including localized totals of upwards of eight inches of water in a short period of time, causing flash flooding in and around the Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.
Additionally, the high heat and humidity necessitated the opening of shelters and other public places to protect Illinoisians from heat-related injuries.
Based on reports received by IEMA and OHS, local resources and capabilities in the communities hit by these storms have been exhausted, and State resources are needed to respond to and recover from the effects of the severe storms.
The Disaster Proclamation was effective immediately.