Senator Mark Kirk toured the tornado damage in the central Illinois city of Washington, saying it's his job to make sure federal funds are available to help recovery efforts.

Kirk, hobbled by a stroke suffered nearly two years ago, walked during parts of Tuesday's tour. He later said photographs do not do justice to the storm damage.

The Nov. 17 storms that swept through central Illinois destroyed or damaged about 2,400 homes, and were blamed for six deaths.

The central Illinois community of Washington was hardest hit.

Washington Mayor Gary Manier said he didn't want to celebrate a one-year anniversary of the tornado. He said he wants to celebrate "what we accomplished in that year."

President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared 15 Illinois counties major disaster areas.

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