Harrisburg Storm News Conference


By Janna Kennedy

HARRISBURG-- Local and state officials held a news conference in Harrisburg concerning the deadly tornado that struck the city early Wednesday morning.

Lt. Tracy Felty, Saline County 911 Coordinator, said the city has declared an emergency for the whole county which opens lines of assistance from the state and federal level.

Bob Smith, Harrisburg Police Chief, says Harrisburg will start a curfew for the town that will last from 6:00 pm Wednesday to 6:00 am Thursday morning for everyone in city limits.

Smith adds that anyone needing assistance can go to three of their assistance relief locations which are at the Sheriff's office, Rural King and the SIC foundation in Harrisburg.

Anyone who wants to volunteer, must register for a work permit at Rural King. The permit is free.

Harrisburg Mayor, Eric Gregg, said the incident was a "horrific event". He went on to say, "We can deal with floods, we can deal with lots of other things, but a tornado is devastating. We will rebuild this city, we will make the city stronger."

Saline County Coroner, Jerry Watson, confirmed that six people are dead at this time. The deaths include four female and two males. All the victims were adults. Names were not released at the afternoon news conference.

National Weather Service representatives also spoke during the conference. The preliminary assessment reveals the tornado was an EF-4 with winds up to 170 mph.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn spent Wednesday afternoon touring Harrisburg and signed a declaration of disaster.

FEMA is also on site assessing the damage to determine federal reimbursement.
Marion Regional
Current: 66°
Partly Cloudy
High: 66°
Low: 55°
Wind: 9 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 83 %