Gary Manier

Lee Strubinger/WUIS

UPDATE:  On Tues., March 4, FEMA denied Illinois' appeal for public assistance for nine counties.  

This week, Gov. Pat Quinn gave a keynote speech at a forum in Washington, D.C. on natural disasters. The governor says Illinois has suffered a record-number of incidents in recent years. And yet the state has come up short when it's sought help from the federal government. That includes a rejection following the outbreak of 25 tornados in Illinois at the end of last year — tornadoes from which the towns of Washington, Gifford, and others are still recovering.

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The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by strong storms.  

Mayor Gary Manier says that figure includes homes that were totally destroyed as well as properties that received minor damage. Officials still haven't said how many people in the community have been affected by Sunday's tornado. Washington has about 16,000 residents and is about 10 miles east of Peoria.  

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The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says storms and tornadoes destroyed or heavily damaged between 250 and 500 homes in the Tazewell County community.
 
Gary Manier says hundreds of residents of Washington spent the night in
shelters after a storm cut a swath of damage through the community of about
16,000 people that's about 140 miles southwest of Chicago.
 
It's not clear when they'll be allowed home.
 
One person in Washington died and a state official says at least 60 others were