U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican whose district includes flood-stricken upper Illinois River cities, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) joined the chorus of Illinois legislators urging President Barack Obama to approve Gov. Pat Quinn’s formal request Thursday for federal aid for 11 hard-hit counties including Grundy andLa Salle.
“I am pleased to see that Governor Quinn has formally requested federal aid for the counties hardest hit by recent flooding,” Kinzinger said. “I, along with the rest of the Illinois delegation, stand ready to do all that we can to assist the families and communities that need help getting back on their feet.”
If the request is approved and Obama listens to the plea from the governor and entire Illinois Congressional delegation, residents in Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, La Salle, McHenry and Will counties will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans.
Durbin scheduled a trip today to Marseilles in support of the governor’s request for issuance of a major disaster declaration for the state and to aid flood-ravaged communities. A staff member from Durbin’s office said the senator would board a boat at Illini State Park to survey the damage, temporary repairs and more-permanent needs at the lock and dam. Durbin also planned to tour the school that was closed because of flood damage and to visit a flooded neighborhood.
“The state ofIllinoishas determined that state and local funds are not adequate to address the damage to public infrastructure and costs related to debris removal and emergency protective measures resulting from this weather event,” wrote the Illinois Delegation Members to the president. “We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that these counties can receive the assistance they need. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.”
Thursday’s request is for “Individual Assistance” funding which provides assistance to individuals and businesses to help with temporary housing, home repairs or replacement and other disaster-related expenses. The State of Illinois is currently working on putting together a request for Public Assistance eligibility which would allow the State of Illinois, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations to apply for grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities.
“We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Governor Quinn announced. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of Illinois can soon receive the federal help they need.”
Five damage assessment teams with personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials have documented damage for more than 3,500 homes since April 29. The governor will continue to request assistance for counties devastated by flooding as damage assessments are completed.
For the 11 counties included in today’s request, the teams identified 41 homes that were destroyed, 761 with major damage and 2,715 homes that also were damaged. In addition, nearly 80 businesses sustained flood damage. If the federal request is approved, affected businesses in those counties will be eligible to apply for low-interest SBA loans.
Governor Quinn also plans to seek federal assistance to help local governments recoup 75 percent of their eligible flood-related costs. IEMA and FEMA currently are meeting with local government officials to document expenses incurred for emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of roads, bridges and other public facilities. This information is needed to support a request from the governor.
The process to request public assistance began May 6 when five teams began meeting with local officials, and will continue through the end of May.
Governor Quinn declared a total of 49 counties state disaster areas after torrential rains caused widespread flash and river flooding. His declaration made available a wide variety of state resources to help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. Those counties include: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.