President Barack Obama has pledged support to the Illinois towns ransacked by powerful tornadoes Sunday.
The president reportedly called Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on his cell phone Monday as the governor was touring areas hit hardest by the tornadoes. According to NBC Chicago, Obama said he'd make sure Quinn got "whatever you need" to help storm-damaged areas rebuild and received updates on the conditions and emergency responses in his home state.
President Obama also expressed his concern as well as his gratitude for the help from first responders, according to the Associated Press. The president also spoke with Gary Manier, the mayor of one of the hardest-hit towns, Washington, Ill.
Since the Sunday twisters that killed six in Illinois, Quinn has declared a total of 13 counties disaster areas, up from the original seven.
Andrew Velasquez, the Midwest head of FEMA, has also been in touch with Quinn to offer assistance, NBC reports.
FEMA denied the state disaster funding in 2012 after deadly tornadoes swept through Harrisburg, Ill. and left seven people dead.
After Sunday's tornadoes, the governor and other state officials have been diligently urging residents to keep detailed accounts of the damage and property loss.
“What really counts at this point is making sure we can account for all of the damage in all of the communities in the state to make the strongest case possible to FEMA that we are deserving and needing a federal disaster declaration,” Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon E. Monken said according to the Southern Illinoisan.
Washington's Mayor Manier was hopeful but remained concerned about cleanup and rebuilding efforts, particularly given the time of year.
"I understand good things are worth waiting for. I'm hoping we can get it turned around," Manier said. "It's not like we have a whole summer of construction season. With winter coming on it's going to be a little more difficult. Even the homes that are damaged and weren't leveled, as far tarping and trying to get a roof on before winter is going to be difficult."