State and federal aid continues to trickle into Southern Illinois as residents continue recovering from the Leap Day tornadoes. Several state agencies are offering help, either through free services or reimbursement for what victims have already spent. That combination of state and federal aid totals around $13 million.
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Joe Klinger, assistant director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, says small businesses in the region have so far spent $5 million on cleanup. “Hopefully it will be enough,” he says. “If it’s not, then we’ll go back and try to come up with some more money. But $13 million is quite an impressive package.” IEMA is responsible for $1.5 million in reimbursements. Klinger says that’s paid for through a dedicated fund filled with federal money from past disaster declarations, like last year’s Groundhog Day blizzard and Southern Illinois floods.