Illinois members seek federal aid after tornado

The entire congressional delegation of Illinois is calling on President Obama to declare a federal disaster in their home state, after 15 counties suffered tornado damage on Nov. 17.

"The 15 counties listed above were pummeled by the fourth largest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history," they wrote in their Monday letter to Obama. "The storm system produced 67 tornadoes throughout the Midwest, 24 of which touched down in Illinois, causing widespread destruction throughout the state.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that these counties can receive the assistance they need."

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has already requested aid from the federal government. The congressional letter said Quinn has indicated that the tornado damage done was "of such severity and magnitude that effective response and recovery is beyond state and local capabilities."

Press reports out of Illinois say the damage could cost private insurers more than $1 billion.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are on the letter, as are all 18 members of the state's House delegation.

More in Senate

Senate passes increase in duck stamp price

Read more »