Gov. Rauner activates state emergency center, deploys search and rescue team

Gov. Rauner activates state emergency center, deploys search and rescue team

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Governor Rauner activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield, Illinois and deployed a search and rescue team on Tuesday, June 23.

The center was activated to make sure state personnel and equipment are ready to be quickly deployed if needed to help area emergency responders with public safety issues after tornado touchdowns in several communities in northern Illinois.

"I activated the State Emergency Operations Center to ensure we're prepared to act quickly if any local responders need our assistance," said Gov. Rauner. "The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is in close contact with local emergency managers in several counties and stands ready to coordinate deployment of state resources if needed to support local response efforts."

Representatives from several state agencies are reporting to the SEOC. The center will remain activated as long as necessary.

Gov. Rauner also deployed Illinois Task Force 1, an 80-member search and rescue team, to help local responders as they search for people who may have been trapped after a tornado tore through Woodhaven Lakes campground in Lee County.

The village of Coal City in Grundy County was also hit hard by a tornado on Monday evening.

Gov. Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for Lee and Grundy Counties.

"Tornadoes and several storms have once again caused devastation in northern Illinois communities," he said. "The state is supporting local responders in these hard-hit communities to ensure the safety of people affected by these terrible storms and help them begin the recovery process."

Illinois Task Force 1 is the state's urban search and rescue team with specialized training and equipment to support extremely difficult recovery efforts. In addition to 80 team members, the group includes trained search canines.

In addition, field personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Natural Resources are helping the affected communities.

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