HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers revisited areas of Harrisburg Sunday that were torn apart by a February 2012 tornado.
The Governor viewed first-hand the progress that has been made due in part to $8.8 million in state assistance following the disaster.
"When the federal government was unable to provide assistance to the five-county area, I ordered agencies under my control to help in every way possible," Governor Quinn said. "Today, I am happy to see that Harrisburg is once again a thriving community that demonstrates the resilience and determination of southern Illinois."
State assistance helped individuals, businesses and local governments in Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties recover from the deadly series of tornadoes.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, Southern Illinois is home to some of the most kind-hearted folks in the state, and that kindness was on full display after the tornado struck," State Senator Forby (D-Benton) said. "Friends, neighbors and volunteers from all over the region came together to help clean-up and rebuild."
"We appreciate the governor's attention to the region and the residents of Harrisburg, especially after his request for federal disaster relief was denied," State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) said. "State resources were deployed on the ground to respond to the damage and helped assist the many residents who were without power or homes. I also appreciate the outstanding work of the Red Cross Little Egypt Network, which took the lead and helped to coordinate local volunteer efforts in our time of need."
Governor Quinn ordered the state assistance to address the widespread destruction caused by the storms in late February 2012. This was after FEMA denied his request for federal disaster aid.
The southern Illinois storms did not qualify for federal disaster aid based on existing guidelines.
"Governor Quinn told me that he had not forgotten southern Illinois and Harrisburg, and that he would continue to get help for us," Harrisburg Mayor Ron Crank said. "He kept his word, and thanks to Governor Quinn and his staff, Harrisburg has been put back together."
"We are honored to have Governor Quinn back in Harrisburg," former Harrisburg Mayor Eric C. Gregg said. "He has been a true friend to our community and area, and we want to personally thank him for helping us put this community back together and moving us forward. Without Governor Quinn's leadership and commitment to Harrisburg and southern Illinois in the aftermath of the 2012 Leap Day Tornado, we would still be picking up the pieces. We are back, thanks to Governor Quinn and his great staff."