Biden declares emergencies in Tennessee, Illinois
President Biden on Monday declared states of emergency in Tennessee and Illinois due to damage caused by severe storms and tornadoes that touched down in the states this past weekend.
Under the declarations, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency are authorized to coordinate disaster relief efforts to alleviate hardship and suffering in the Tennessee counties of Cheatham, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion, Stewart and Weakley.
In Illinois, Bond, Cass, Coles, Effingham, Fayette, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike and Shelby counties are covered.
Both Tennessee and Illinois were hit by the tornadoes that tore through much of Kentucky in what was described as one of the largest outbreaks that the U.S. has seen.
At least 90 people have been confirmed dead due to the tornadoes, with the majority of the deaths in Kentucky.
Six deaths have been confirmed in Illinois so far after an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville collapsed, sparking an Occupational Safety and Health Administration probe. At least four deaths have been reported in Tennessee from the storms.
On Sunday, Biden approved a disaster declaration in Kentucky, making federal funds available through grants for temporary housing and property loss. He is set to visit Kentucky on Wednesday to survey the damage caused by the extreme weather.
“We’re going to get this done. We’re going to be there as long as it takes to help,” Biden said on Saturday when asked what he would say to governors of the affected states. “Whatever they need when they need it.”
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