Watseka Police report the arrests of two men for the theft of a trailer.
37-year-old Raymond Cook and 29-year-old Andrew Tincher, both of Watseka, are accused of stealing a trailer from the 300-block of W. Victory Street in Watseka. Both men were jailed awaiting a court appearance in Iroquois County.
Vermilion County Board meets Wednesday in special session
The Vermilion County Board will meet in special session Wednesday, November 20th. It's a 6 pm meeting.
The date is a change from the original-scheduled meeting Thursday, November 21st.
The meeting was called to act on the tentative contract agreement reached with county employees who are represented by IBEW Local 21. The local chapter members have already ratified the agreement.
The meeting night was changed because of the expected congestion in downtown Danville Thursday night. The annual Night of Lights Parade is Thursday, and the Festival of Trees will be underway at the David S. Palmer Arena.
Governor requests Disaster Declaration For Seven Illinois Counties
A state of disaster is being declared in seven Illinois counties devastated by a wave of tornadoes on Sunday. Governor Pat Quinn issued the declaration as the death toll continued to climb across his state. At least five people have been killed and more than three dozen others injured. Tens of thousands of people are without power. A full house at Soldier Field had to evacuate for a time as the storm system approached Sunday afternoon. They were later allowed back to their seats. Hundreds of flights were affected heading into and out of the region.
Reacting to Damage Caused by Severe Weather – Hard Hit Areas Hard to Reach
Collinsville, IL (Nov. 17, 2013) – Ameren Illinois' Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at 11:30am this morning to provide restoration support to communities impacted by today's severe storms and high winds.
Currently, approximately 140,000 Ameren Illinois customers are without power. While damage is severe all over central and southern Illinois, the hardest hit areas are in the Washington, Pekin, Danville and Bloomington areas. Crews continue to assess the damage and the company will provide an update on restoration times as more information becomes available.
"Safety is the top priority for our customers and our workers," said Richard J. Mark, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois. "We know the critical role electricity and natural gas has in our customers' lives. Our crews will work quickly and safely to restore their power."
Ameren Illinois currently has several hundred personnel deployed all across its service territory. Storm trailers have been deployed to the most seriously damaged areas so customers should understand that help is on the way. Ameren Illinois crews are currently working hard to document the full extent of the damages and may be encountering difficult conditions, especially in harder hit areas of the Ameren Illinois territory.
The most important safety rule is to stay clear of downed power lines and always call Ameren Illinois at 1.800.755-5000 or 911 if you see downed lines or smell natural gas leaks. Assume all downed power lines are energized. Stay inside because you may walk into an energized power line. Stay clear of brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines.
While every effort is made to restore power as quickly as possible, customers with special needs—including those with medical conditions, seniors, handicapped and others who are dependent on electric service—may wish to consider making alternative arrangements if outages in their areas persist.
Customers can report an outage at Ameren.mobi using a smartphone, go online to AmerenIllinois.com/Outage or call 1.800.755.5000.
Additional storm safety information is available at the Ameren Illinois Outage Center at AmerenIllinois.com/Outage.
Coal City hit by tornado, first responders search for victims
Emergency responders in Grundy County confirm they were involved in a search for any victims after a tornado hit the town of Coal City and nearby Diamond. The Emergency Management Agency office was urging the public to stay away from the town until the full extent of the damage was assessed.
Significant damage was reported and homes and commercial businesses in the community were destroyed. The devastation has drawn scores of emergency workers from Coal City, Braidwood, Joliet, Manhattan, Plainfield, Lockport and Minooka, among others. The teams set up staging areas at the Braidwood and Coal City fire departments.
The tornado hit about 12:20 pm, according to the EMA office.
While no fatalities have been reported, there have been reports of injuries. Downed power lines are among the damage and existing threats, and with winds gusting at 50 mph.
The NWS also confirmed tornado damage in Gifford in Champaign County and in parts of Vermilion and Iroquois Counties.
The hardest hit Illinois community was Washington in Tazewell County.