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Illinois Governor Quinn Declares Seven Counties State Disaster Areas Following Sunday's Severe Weather
CHICAGO, IL, (SWI-News.com), November 14, 2013 - Governor Pat Quinn today declared seven counties state disaster areas after severe storms generating tornadoes and high winds ripped across Illinois. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people are without power, and numerous roads throughout the state have been closed by fallen trees and downed power lines. At least six people are reported dead and dozens more injured.
Governor Quinn inspected damage on the ground in some of Illinois' hardest hit communities: Washington, Diamond, Gifford, Brookport and New Minden. Counties included in the Governor's declaration are: Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties.
"Yesterday Illinois was hit extremely hard by deadly tornadoes that left many in a great deal of pain and loss," Governor Quinn said. "Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible. As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover."
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms. The state of Illinois has personnel and assets that can be mobilized to help local government officials with disaster recovery, including such things as trucks, heavy equipment to remove debris, communications equipment and provide assistance with security and other public safety issues.
The State Incident Response Center (SIRC) in Springfield was activated Sunday afternoon and will remain operational as long as necessary. Liaisons from several state agencies are working with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas.
The state has dispatched technical rescue teams to a number of impacted locations across the state, and provided emergency generators, light towers and communications systems.
by Staff Sgt. Maria Bowman
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, (SWI-News.com), November 14, 2013 - A groundbreaking ceremony for a new Defense Information Systems Agency facility was held yesterday near the Cardinal Creek Gate, which will replace the current facility, Bldg. B3189, and two other locations. Construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2015.
"This building will allow us to command, control and defend the Department of Defense's information network," said Col. Nora Marcos, DISA Continental United States commander. "We have more than 750 personnel assigned to the organization who are spread out over multiple locations. Building this facility will allow us to bring them into one location."
According to Marcos, safety concerns and economic issues are also reasons for the new facility.
Marcos said, "The safety factor is a concern. Because we are on the flightline, we can't have lights on outside at night and we have a 24-hour staff. In addition, it is more economic for the government because we won't have to rent space off base anymore, and our mission is expanding as we take on a more global mission. Moving to this building allows us to execute that more efficiently."
The DISA commander said the current main facility isn't built to handle major environmental hazards, and this new facility will be better equipped to handle emergency situations.
"With weather patterns here, we need to be in a more secure facility, both physical and structural. This is especially important to the criticality of our mission," she said.
Jacob Freeman, DISA Military Construction project manager, said the new building will be an actual brick building and will have a structure shelter-in-place.
"The structure shelter-in-place will house the entire populous of DISA CONUS area, so we won't have to bug out in a tornado; we can stay in there and continue working," he said.
In addition to the shelter-in-place, the facility will be able to hold 830 personnel working at one time. Personnel will also be able to enjoy a new fitness center and cafeteria.
The construction should not have a great impact on people's ability to get on the base. Officials said they are expecting a higher number of vehicles on the road, but it should not impede traffic getting on the base.
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