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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state prison inmates are among those who have been taking part in recovery efforts after last month's deadly tornadoes. The Illinois Department of Corrections says department staff and inmates have helped with debris removal.
The two dozen tornadoes that swept across Illinois on November 17th damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and killed seven people.
The crews will head next to the city of Diamond on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A dog and his owner have been reunited after the animal was found under a pile of rubble more than a week after a tornado ripped through a central Illinois city.
Jacob Montgomery of Washington and his dog Dexter were separated when the Nov. 17 tornado damaged Montgomery's third floor apartment.
Montgomery is a member of the Illinois National Guard.
A guard spokesman says a neighbor sent Montgomery a Facebook message nine days later to tell him Dexter had been found under debris where the apartment used to be.
An animal rescuing organization had oaxed the 6-month-old puppy out of the rubble with hot dogs.
A veterinarian found Dexter to be malnourished, but without any major injuries.
Montgomery says as soon as the dog saw him "his tail started going."
The National Weather Service has updated its numbers regarding the violent storms that ripped through the Midwest earlier this month.
The agency says two dozen tornadoes struck Illinois and another 28 hit Indiana. The latest figures underscore what officials have been saying since the tornadoes roared through on November 17th: There's never been a November day like that one on record.
The tornado that cut a half-mile swath through the central Illinois community of Washington is the strongest in November in Illinois since modern records began being kept in 1950. Six people died during the storms in Illinois and 147 people were injured.
WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's received a phone call from President Barack Obama after fatal storms hit Obama's home state.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that Quinn received the call on his cellphone while touring damage in the central Illinois community of Washington. The community was among the hardest hit. The White House confirmed the call, saying Obama relayed concern and expressed gratitude for the responders.
Quinn gave Obama an update on the damage, relief efforts and emergency response. Quinn was with Washington Mayor Gary Manier, who also spoke to Obama.
Authorities say six people died in Sunday's storms when tornadoes flattened homes and caused severe damage. So far seven counties have been declared state disaster areas.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Major insurance companies already have received more than 6,300 claims from people whose property was damaged during recent tornadoes in the St. Louis area.
The state insurance department said Friday that it has received data about the May 31st tornadoes from insurance companies that make up about three-quarters of the state's homeowners insurance market. They reported that 6,321 claims have been filed so far.
The insurance department said most of those claims relate to damaged homes, though some also could be for vehicles.
The department says it's monitoring the situation to ensure consumers receive the benefits due under their policies.
The worst damage from the high winds and multiple tornadoes that struck the night of May 31 occurred in St. Charles and St. Louis counties.