Governor J.B. Pritzker declared a state of disaster for five counties affected by severe weather on Friday night. The move will allow state resources to be deployed to aid recovery efforts in those areas. The counties covered by the declaration are Boone, Crawford, DuPage, Marion, and Sangamon.
The storm caused damage across the region, with a significant impact in Sangamon County. Downed power lines and damaged homes were reported in many areas, with the Sherman community bearing the brunt of the damage. The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but local officials say dozens are affected.
The declaration of disaster will allow the state to assist with recovery efforts, including providing resources and personnel to affected areas. In addition to Sangamon County, the other counties covered by the disaster declaration also suffered significant damage. Boone County saw the collapse of a theater roof, which claimed one life and injured dozens more. Crawford County reported three deaths and extensive property damage, while DuPage County saw multiple structures damaged. Marion County also experienced damage to a number of homes and businesses.
Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell confirmed significant tornado damage in the Sherman, Dawson, and Riverton areas. The tornado touched down early Friday evening, causing damage to property, downed trees and power lines.
Fortunately, no injuries have been reported thus far, but the damage to the affected areas is significant. First responders and damage clean-up crews have been dispatched to the area to begin assisting with the aftermath of the storm.
Residents in the impacted areas are advised to remain indoors and avoid any downed power lines or damaged structures. Emergency crews are working diligently to restore power and clear debris from roadways.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.