Fifteen Illinois Counties Approved For Federal Disaster Assistance
By Jeff Bossert
Fifteen Illinois counties, including Champaign, Douglas, and Vermilion, have been granted federal disaster declarations after tornadoes hit large portions of the state on November 17.
The declaration was announced in press releases late Tuesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s office, a day after the governor and Illinois’ congressional delegation submitted the request.
The assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and homeowners recover from the effects of the disaster.
“We will begin working immdediately with the federal government to ensure tornado victims can get needed help as quickly as possible,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
“Just days before Thanksgiving this is good news for thousands of people in Illinois who have suffered so much,” said Gov. Quinn. “I thank President Obama for his swift approval that will bring much-needed federal relief to those who desperately need it in the wake of these deadly storms.”
Donald Keldsen, the Federal Coordinating Officer for recovery operations, said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and more counties and additional forms of assistance may be designated after assessments are fully completed.
The other counties in the declarations are Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, La Salle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford.
At least 24 tornadoes were reported on Nov. 17. The request detailed the impact the storms had on communities, including damage to at least 2,441 homes.