The officials have sent Obama a letter asking him to declare five southern Illinois counties major disaster areas. The declaration would allow residents and businesses affected by tornadoes and other severe weather from Feb. 29 to March 2 to apply for federal reimbursements.
Gov. Pat Quinn has sent a similar letter. He has already declared the counties state disaster areas.
Federal assistance is being sought for Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.
In Saline County seven people were killed when a tornado swept through Harrisburg. The National Weather Service has given the tornado an EF4 rating, the second-highest rating.