IEMA to work with FEMA to review additional local government disaster-related expenses in eight counties

CHICAGO Governor Bruce Rauner today submitted a request for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance to help people and businesses in Christian and Iroquois counties recover from severe storms and floods that occurred in late December. If approved, the SBA declaration would enable people and businesses in those counties, as well as counties contiguous to each, to apply for low-interest, long-term loans.

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“Nearly three months after floodwaters receded, many people still are trying to repair or rebuild their homes and replace personal property damaged in the floods,” said Gov. Rauner. “If approved, these low-interest loans could speed up the recovery process for many people and businesses.”

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The state of Illinois requested federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help people recover from the floods, but that request was denied on March 10. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) consulted with the affected counties to see if any additional damage had been reported that could have been used to support an appeal of the denial. However, only minimal damage information for homes and businesses was reported by the impacted counties.

Gov. Rauner today also announced that IEMA will work with FEMA to review additional local government expenses related to the disaster that were recently submitted by eight counties. IEMA and FEMA will review new information submitted by officials from Alexander, Calhoun, Cass, Clark, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties early next week to determine if those costs could support a state appeal for federal assistance to local governments. 

On March 10, FEMA also denied the state’s request for federal assistance for local governments affected by the December floods. The total costs to state and local governments included in that request totaled $15 million, which was less than FEMA’s population-based threshold for Illinois of $18.1 million. Although state officials understood the total costs fell below the threshold, federal assistance was requested due to the devastating impact of the disaster to the local infrastructure and economy, particularly in areas that were still recovering from flooding that occurred in mid-2015.

Gov. Rauner on Thursday added Clark County to the state declaration for the disaster after local governmental expenses related to the flooding in that county were submitted to IEMA.

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