Federal Officials Deny Illinois Appeal For Disaster Funds

A flooded corn field along Route 130 near Villa Grove.

A flooded corn field along Route 130 near Villa Grove in Douglas County during last winter's flooding.

Andrew Pritchard/SkyDrama.Net

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state's appeal for federal assistance to help local governments for 17 Illinois counties recover from flooding and storms in December and January.

The state appealed earlier this month after FEMA denied assistance to help local governments recover flood-related expenses. The appeal called for nearly $17 million in costs for several counties, including Vermilion, Moultrie, Alexander, Cass, Jackson, Monroe, Pike and St. Clair.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph said in a Friday news release that states with high populations in concentrated urban areas struggle to reach thresholds needed to qualify for federal aid for disasters in their sparsely populated rural areas.

He calls the process unfair and the state's poorest areas will continue to suffer.

The rejection was also noted by the chief deputy of the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency, Russell Rudd.

Rudd said FEMA’s denial of their request would not only prevent devastated counties from receiving immediate aid, but “prevent the receipt of hazard mitigation to help prevent the occurrence of storm-related damages in Illinois in the future.”

The state's request for FEMA funds to help residents and businesses was also denied last month.

Story source: AP