Gov-elect J.B. Pritzker assesses tornado damage in Taylorville
Top Taylorville leaders toured Taylorville Saturday, just one week after a tornado tore through the town.
Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor-Elect Juliana Stratton and Senator Dick Durbin got a firsthand look at the destruction Taylorville saw December first when a tornado wreaked havoc on the town.
“What seems absolutely devastating to the community is the fact that there are homes that are literally obliterated,” said Pritzker.
Top legislative leaders talked to survivors of the tragedy, including one man working to clear rubble from a severely injured family members home.
The home was a total loss.
“We're going to do everything we can to continue carrying out the emergency management function and help the people rebuild,” said Pritzker.
This is the first natural disaster Pritzker is experiencing as governor-elect.
"It's the people that we've got to focus on and then of course the rebuilding effort,” he explained.
The goal of Saturday’s tour was to find out firsthand what the victims really need.
The town of Taylorville, is expecting to endure financial struggles down the road to recovery.
Pritzker promised to put this tragedy at the top of his list when he steps into his role as governor.
"When we take office we're going to continue the recovery road for Taylorville and stand up for the families here," said Pritzker.
Lawmakers said this recovery is going to rely mostly on state funding.
Both Durbin and Pritzker said it's difficult to get federal funding for tornado relief if the damage is under $40 million.