Rauner Appeals Federal Denial Of Disaster Funds
Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is appealing the federal government's March decision to deny funding to help local governments pay for damages following winter floods. Rauner asked for an additional $1.8 million on Friday to help cover the cost of flood damage in December and January in 17 central and southern Illinois counties, including Vermilion and Moultrie.
The additional request brings state authorities' estimate of damage to $16.8 million. That's below the Federal Emergency Management Agency's population-based damage threshold, but state officials say other factors should be considered.
Rauner says it would be nearly impossible for local communities to recover from flood damage without federal assistance.
If the appeal is successful, local governments could apply to have up to 75 percent of their disaster-related expenses reimbursed.
Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville sent a letter Friday to President Obama, supporting the governor, and asking that FEMA's denial be reconsidered.
“All the counties included in the state’s request for Public Assistance have exceeded the county threshold of $3.57 per capita," he said. "Alexander County alone suffered an estimated damage of $485 per capita, exceeding the county threshold by a factor of more than 100. The severity of the localized impact to these communities is undeniable."