Death Toll at Six After Rare November Tornado in Illinois

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gives update on cleanup and survivor search following deadly tornados.
14:15 | 11/18/13

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Transcript for Death Toll at Six After Rare November Tornado in Illinois
This is a special room. I'm Dan -- New York with -- ABC news digital special report on the midwest tornadoes. Indiana and Illinois sizing up the damage today after a string a powerful late fall twisters ripped through the region. And now Illinois governor Pat Quinn -- not speak to reporters at Chicago's midway airport with the latest on the damage there. -- were hard hit yesterday by the deadliest. Tornadoes that we've ever had in the month of November in Illinois history. It is important that we see ourselves as a family. That we come together when something very dangerous and difficult and deadly happens to the people were all in this together and our state government. It is going to recent and with every asset we have to make sure that these communities and the people in them -- are able to recover. We ask god to bless the immortal souls of the six people were killed yesterday. By these tornadoes across our state. The estimates. By the weather service. Are going to be probably between twenty and thirty different. Tornadoes occurred across Illinois. It's inspiring to see how people came together in their communities to help each other. Help their neighbor. Young and old people came together to make sure that folks were safe and were brought to safety. It is important date now. Dave we continue -- search and rescue of their any victims that are still. In harm's way our state police are on the scene along with local law enforcement. But we are beginning the whole process. Of recovery. And last year we head at the beginning of the -- very deadly tornado in Harrisburg Illinois. We responded to that I was recently in Harrisburg with the people who. We're part of that recovery and we're gonna do the same and more with the communities that are affected here but these tornadoes yesterday. It is important that every one who has been affected by the tornado. Try to keep as good a record is a can of everything that they've lost in many cases our home was totally destroyed. We need to make sure that we keep those records because having declared a state disaster. Declaration this morning we filed it with the secretary of state. The next step for all of us cross solenoid. Is to -- -- initial assessment of damage. In it is important -- -- families and our businesses. Make as best they can't -- in these difficult circumstances. A a full record of what has been losses is very very important. Because in so doing we ultimately go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Where they do a full assessment with the records that we provide them and our -- To get a federal disaster declaration really rides and our ability to get all information regarding. Damage and destruction that occurred yesterday so it we have been through this before it it's very very important that we work together. When their local mayors with people in local government with local law enforcement. Are stages. Brought to each of the sites. As sets whether it's the Illinois Department of Transportation. Our state police. Our communications. As well -- lighting in some cases so we want to help. Each -- naturally I think the spirit of Illinois. It is important that we see ourselves as of family of thirteen million people. And everyone in Illinois wants to help the victims of these deadly tornadoes that -- and created so much destruction yesterday. We want to work together to recover fully and no Gdansk -- market to come Florida's a few words -- it from there. Thank you governors the governor mentioned obviously this is an unprecedented event for us especially in the month of November and the impacts are so significant. That it will take time to be able to sift through it. Yesterday was all focused on life safety we continue that mission today because it happened late enough in the day in darkness fell early enough. It hampers some of our search and rescue efforts at the end of the day yesterday so we will continue that process today. And then we will begin the long process of doing that damage assessment and digging people out making sure that we can get all the debris that's cleared out. It generated an incredible amount of debris in each of these communities and the right path to recovery is making sure that we can clean that out soul and initiate that process this morning it's already under way. And it's very important as the governor mentioned to get all of that information out. About the initial damage assessment so we strongly encourage everybody to report. That information -- or your local public safety including law enforcement and emergency management so they have that information available. They will be providing that to us as part of the state role for that information so that we can in turn provide that to FEMA and make sure that we can get everybody the assistance that they need. So we certainly encourage everyone. To stay where you are at this point make sure that you can do -- -- -- do -- richer individual homes and anybody disinterested in helping out in the communities we actually encourage you to stay. At home right now don't go to the affected areas right now because that could create more of an issue. And a solution of the problems that we're facing. Focus on the great organizations like the ones represented with us here today like the red cross and make sure that they get the support that they need to do what they need to do you thank you. Okay thank you Janet Patricia went to come forward MBF of the red cross and speak about efforts there. So our volunteers and staff have been working around the clock to bring relief and comfort the families affected by the tornadoes. We've opened multiple shelters and we are going through the affected areas and doing mobile feeding for at the families there. Wells. It is important understand it just looking at the estimates. Washington where we're first going maybe as many as 400 homes that were. Destroyed. Or damaged as severely. With respect to diamond -- coal city many many homes as well same way with Gifford. Town in champion counting. That many homes perhaps have to town. In the businesses. Aware affected in drug court. Trailer park completely. Uprooted. And other homes as well and in new Mendon which is in Washington County. -- ten home so. -- whatever the damage is we want to make sure week carefully. Assess it and calculated. And make sure that we take good care of the people that's our job right now any questions. Well. I have John talk about it a little bit -- to go from there. You have slowly so I am we have right now our first stop is going to be in Washington. As of this morning yes and it was a 120 total injuries. 37 them were treated at Saint Francis hospital -- story -- Seven of those who were treated had traumatic injuries so there are still some that are being capped at the hospital overnight and again and -- today it's about a 120 injuries there. Some of the other injury reports -- little -- body right now but combined for the rest of the community's we're looking at below triple digits for this community so. Hopefully -- we won't see those numbers rise but based on the nature of where the tornado struck and being in small towns some folks had to be transported for medical care to other town so it's difficult. To track the exact number but. For the case of Washington about a 120 total injuries. You have between 115200. Total so those numbers -- -- additional definition as we go throughout the day but that's what we're looking at right now. And there are large number of people -- -- What we don't have is a 100% accountability we don't have specific missing persons. That we're trying to find at this point because it's hard to tell of so right now in Washington there's one field that still needs to be searched that's littered with a significant amount of debris. And as you can imagine in some instances we found people that are far flung from where they actually started from. So we have one more -- to search in Washington and at that point we should be comfortable being able to say that we -- -- percent accountability. Is there. Well I think we have heard from Deval Patrick key is good friend and it is you know Massachusetts went through an ordeal earlier this year and I was so that no prisoner. Vice President Biden would be calling today. But our focus right now is we -- -- definitely work with our federal government we have a very good relationship with the local administrator of FEMA here in midwest and -- Andrew Velasquez. Who use it was -- predecessor so we've worked together in previous situations. Floods and definitely the tornado that occurred in. In Harrisburg in we will work with the federal government and local government and all government. To make sure that we recover from this it is very very important that we keep our spirits up. I was so impressed I was reading an article about a little boy in Washington Illinois. He was only six years old. His name is -- hunter -- he heard the sirens he told his mother we better get to the basement at first she was saying well do little later. He insisted he said -- -- in school we are to always hear the sirens. Gets -- safety. And I think -- was a good example of many many. People in Illinois who help their neighbors help their family get to safety. It is very important when you have a dangerous situation was. Multiple tornadoes. Cutting across our state well -- very close in Harrisburg. I think it underlines the importance of assessment. Full assessment. Of -- damage. It's a pretty clear here that in the events of yesterday. There were places multiple places in Illinois there where hard hit I declared seven counties state disaster areas today. I think it's important that everyone in each and every one of those counties. In communities that were affected. Get all the information necessary so we can put our best foot forward to get federal relief. Well. -- There was one person who lost their lives in Washington Illinois which -- and as well Tony. Then there were three people who were killed in. Brooke poured in mass sick count hits and deep southern Illinois. And there -- two people who were killed. In new -- and witches in Washington County Washington County -- Pretty close to Saint Louis area Saint Louis government funded area it's and the meant to -- -- there so that there would be the total. Governor it was the good neighbors news. He he does the situation here -- home. Threatened that. No it -- -- we have ample assets we have a great National Guard some of our National Guard actually. We're involved yesterday along -- state police we have the best state police force in the whole country as far as I'm concerned. And we can help Natalie our own. Families in Illinois but those who were affected by the -- -- and the Philippines it was quite inspiring to see all the people. Coming together to play this week to. You know really help their neighbor. I really don't know I think it is important with -- said that we have full. Search and rescue. Across. The areas that have been affected but that's really what you do. -- immediate situation. -- the first responders command I think we should salute all the first responders they've worked. Over and over again to exhaustion. To carry out their duties. When -- continue that today but we have lots and lots of artillery Department of Transportation. Crews out removing debris. It's quite impressive number of -- roads where. We're affected yesterday but -- debris has been removed and roads are clear. We do have a few that are still. Needing to be. Cleared up -- -- and we'll get that done today. Well I have in the past after natural disasters. Once the initial work is been done by the first responders. It's important go to the communities in two visit -- of families in the businesses in the local. Folks the mayor's and so on we're in this together we're a team we've got to work together to recover and that we will. We are the people of Illinois good in true we never give up we never surrender and we will prevail there was very. I think for everyone seeing that whether yes there was very frightening. And it's important that we summon our courage and -- -- will. To help our neighbor get beckon their feet. -- -- -- And -- -- into a press conference in Illinois where the governor Pat Quinn there. Was addressing reporters in the latest. On what is happening there that states suffering a loss of six. Lives from those tornadoes that struck through last night the worst in the State's history. And in fact we also heard that there is between 150. And 200 injuries from those storms that came through last night. As -- hear from officials right now they are assessing the damage. They have declared a state of disaster and are hoping that there will be some federal relief efforts coming in. As people are now assessing what exactly tore -- -- parts of Illinois Indiana and other parts of the midwest. The of course have a complete report right here on abcnews.com -- -- -- Dan -- in New York. With -- ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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