Gov. Rauner Tours Southern Illinois Storm Damage

Mar 2, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner toured some of the storm-ravaged areas in southern Illinois Thursday.

During his stop in Elkville in Jackson County, the governor said the state will provide all the assistance it can to help tornado victims deal with the disaster.

"We do have the emergency management personnel here. They do help with the clean-up. They also help coordinate financial resources from the state, from the county, from the l0cal community to help the families who aren't insured or who have a financial situation where they're vulnerable. We're going to make sure they're supported and they're protected."

Alongside State Senator Paul Schimpf, State Representative Terri Bryant said tornado victims will needs help from their local communities and the state.

"As elected officials, as Senator Schimpf said, we're going to do everything we can do to get the resources that'll be available and I really appreciate the governor being here for us, just to take a look at this."

Rauner said meeting with storm victims and seeing the devastation makes him emotional.

"Frankly, in the two years I've been governor, the state of Illinois, between floods and tornadoes, we've had a lot of devastation in communities all over the state. It's been very hard. I've gotten to every community that's been impacted. I just want the people to know we're with them and that we're there for them and that we're praying for them."

Illinois State Police director Leo Schmitz joined Governor Rauner on the tour. He said on top of everything else, storm victims could become identity theft victims.

"When we have building getting blown down and there's a lot of paperwork and items that have your information, whether it be social security (number), address, date of birth, all that information, we got to be very careful and know at this point sometimes that gets into the wrong hands. So, we're going to be letting the people know how to deal with that."

Schmitz says state troopers will continue to support local law enforcement officials in protecting communities suffering from tornado damage.