An Illinois congressman says the federal government “got everything wrong” by denying benefits to tornado-ravaged Harrisburg and surrounding areas. The state quickly applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help after an E-F-4 tornado tore through Southern Illinois on Feb. 29, killing seven. Help was denied, which baffled U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Urbana).
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“They acted with incomplete facts,” he says. “To take the position that there is disqualification based on the factors they set forth, and based on the actuality of the incident, this flies in the face of reality.” FEMA denied assistance as it felt a state declaration, coupled with charitable donations and private insurance, would suffice. The agency has agreed to accept a revised damage estimate, which the state has three weeks to compile.