After being denied federal assistance, the towns affected by last fall’s tornadoes are getting aid from the state. The $45 million dollar package announced Wednesday will be available for nine counties impacted by the storms. Speaking in one of those areas in Washington today, Gov. Pat Quinn said the money is coming from several state agencies, as well as funds that had been dedicated to construction projects.
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“We’re not gonna look at that money in the bank vault when we have a natural disaster that caused great harm to so many people, so many families, so many homes were demolished here—over 1,000 homes, I believe—you know, we gotta do something,” Quinn said. A request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had been denied in January. The state appealed that decision, which on Tuesday was also denied. Quinn has called on FEMA to change what he calls “unfair” criteria for receiving disaster aid.
The counties eligible for assistance are: Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne and Woodford.