The State of Illinois this week requested and received an extension for submitting a request to the federal government for a major disaster declaration related to severe storms and flooding in late December and early January. The original deadline was set for Friday, February 12. The deadline has been extended to Friday, February 26 to request federal assistance.
James K. Joseph, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency stated that in some parts of the state, floodwaters recently subsided to where they were able to accurately document the damages. He also noted they just recently concluded their joint damage assessments with FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) earlier this week and need more time to thoroughly review the information, so they can truly define the true impact of the event.
FEMA and IEMA began reviewing flood and storm-related costs with local government officials in 19 counties on February 1, while FEMA, SBA, and IEMA began assessing damage to homes and businesses in ten counties on February 4.
Joseph said in addition to documenting response and recovery costs and numbers of structures damaged, the assessment teams also noted other disaster-related impacts that could impede a community’s ability to recover, including the displacement of residents, the economic effects of road closures on businesses and workers and concerns in other areas that have been hit by floods twice in less than a year.
The state will decide by February 26 if a state request for federal assistance is warranted. There are two types of federal assistance the state may request: Individual Assistance which would provide grants and low-interest loans to people affected by the disaster. The other is Public Assistance which would enable local governments to recoup some of their disaster-related expenses.