ROBINSON, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV)– The injury toll rose slightly to 10 people as Crawford County officials gave the latest information on efforts to recover from Friday’s deadly tornado.
Crawford County board chairman Bill Burke said the two new injuries were due to a car accident that was caused by the storm.
Speaking to the media alongside county emergency management agency coordinator Brad Midgett on Monday, he said they were working alongside state officials on their two biggest priorities– debris removal and power restoration around the area.
“We are starting getting dumpsters into the area, getting them to where it’s been affected. We’ve been working with contractors this morning to vet through them and know who the good contractors are to recommend them to our citizens throughout Crawford County,” he said.
Midgett said as of around noon Monday, there were still 306 households without power. Burke said dozens of crews had been in the area over the weekend working to fix downed power lines.
“Probably between [9:30 to 11 p.m. Sunday night,] we got most of Palestine back with electric. That was a big lift for the county, we still had I think around 1,250 [households] out, yesterday evening, we still got a couple hundred out, but they got the majority of Palestine and that area back on,” he said.
Burke also addressed the county airport– which was deemed inoperable after taking heavy damage– saying it was something they would work on down the road, after focusing on families in need over the next few days.
“We can’t start that effort until we get the other done,” he said. “At this time, [Illinois Governor J.B Pritzker] had some people reach out to us, we got some grant stuff coming along, to be honest with you, that will probably be a late this week, early next, before we move into that phase.”
The American Red Cross was in town Monday, setting up outside the Robinson Community Center to help distribute materials. Executive director for the South Central Illinois Chapter Dawn Morris said they hoped to mobilize around the damaged areas in the coming days.
“We’ll be going out into the communities, it will depend on the weather [on Tuesday,] but definitely Wednesday, helping people in need,” she said.
Those in need of assistance can contact both the American Red Cross, or the county EMA department. Anyone wanting to volunteer should also contact the EMA office for opportunities. Burke said monetary donations will be handled by the county treasure.