CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois' senators and Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday sharply criticized a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny disaster aid to southern Illinois counties ravaged by tornadoes and said they would seek to reverse the ruling.
"After personally surveying the damage and talking to many residents who lost their homes, I firmly believe federal assistance is crucial to help them begin the recovery process," Quinn said Sunday in a statement.
A powerful Feb. 29 tornado left seven people dead in the southern Illinois community of Harrisburg, part of a series of damaging storms that swept the area Feb. 29 through March 2.
Quinn's office on Thursday had sought a major disaster declaration for the state and assistance for Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.