Governor Bruce Rauner asked President Barack Obama to approve federal assistance to help Illinoisans, including citizens, businesses, and local governments in 16 counties recover from damages sustained due to the record flooding and severe storms in late December. Included in the 16 county request are Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, and St. Clair counties. If the governor's request is approved, people and businesses in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest SBA loans.

Rauner says the information gathered paints a picture of a difficult road to recovery from the storms and subsequent flooding. He also urges President Obama to take into consideration that without federal assistance a full recovery may not be possible. Joint assessment teams from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reviewed the damage earlier this month and found that 684 homes were damaged, ten of which were destroyed and 131 of which had major damage. After consulting with 19 counties IEMA and FEMA assessed damages to total at around $15 million. Rauner adds that while this does not meet the $18.1 million thresh hold set by FEMA that it should be taken into consideration that severe storms and flooding over the summer already had many counties strapped for cash prior to December's storms and flooding.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio / )