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Governors survey tornado damage

Workers work to secure the home of David Wommack with boards on the windows and a tarp on the roof as a large tree lays uprooted near Silex, Mo, about 75 miles northwest of St. Louis following powerful tornados in the area Monday.

By Illinois Public Radio/AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO./Springfield, Ill. – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has declared a state of emergency and authorized National Guard assistance to local communities in areas hit hard by the storms.

Blunt says it's too early to put a dollar estimate on the statewide damage.

Nine people were killed in Missouri by the storms that ripped through the state over the weekend.

Governor Blunt toured a storm-damaged neighborhood of newer brick homes in Nixa today. At least 20 houses had been destroyed in the fast-growing suburban area south of Springfield.

The governor said the damage exceeds what most people expected.

He sent Lieutentant Governor Peter Kinder to inspect the damage in southeast Missouri's Perry County, where two people were killed Saturday night.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has declared seven counties disaster areas.

Tornadoes swept through the state's capital and Central Illinois last night but caused no fatalities. More than 20 people received minor injuries in the storm --
which tore roofs off of buildings and sent traffic lights and utility poles crashing to the ground.

The governor got an aerial tour of Springfield to see the damage.

"The tornado seemed to be kind of skipping; it would hit a business then bounce and miss all kinds of properties then hit again and then continue to skip all along a path leaving behind it a lot of destruction," Blagojevich said.

The governor says officials are still working to determine whether or not to give Franklin County disaster status.

Blagojevich also says he's been in contact with the White House and will ask President Bush for federal disaster designation.


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