Storm-damaged Ill. counties declared disaster areas

May 9, 2009 (CHICAGO) Franklin, Jackson and Williamson counties are now receiving assistance from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

As a result of the storms, more than 63,000 customers were without electricity Saturday.

Southern Illinois University was forced to cancel its graduation ceremonies. Winds approximately 100 miles per hour toppled utility poles and knocked over trees.

It's still not clear if tornadoes touched down, but the governor is urging Carbondale area residents to take precautions during storms.

"I think everybody needs to use common sense when storms come along. That's exactly what happened yesterday. They were very high wind, but we're very happy to see that it appears that there was no serious injur," Governor Quinn said.

Illinois state police troopers were helping direct traffic in storm-damaged areas Saturday, and the state transportation department was clearing branches from the roads.

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