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Gov. Rauner Requests Federal Assistance for Flood Recovery

Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday asked President Barack Obama to approve federal assistance to help people, businesses, and local governments in several Illinois counties recover from the flooding that occurred in late December to early January.


Rauner requested federal assistance for people and businesses in ten counties, including Christian. He also requested federal assistance for local governments in 16 counties, including Cumberland and Moultrie. 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 damage in ten counties earlier this month. The teams identified 684 homes that were damaged, including 10 homes that were destroyed, 131 homes with major damage, and 543 with less severe damage related to the floods and storms.


IEMA and FEMA personnel met with local government officials in 19 counties in early February to document disaster-related expenses and damages, which totaled more than $15 million. Though the state didn’t meet FEMA’s population-based threshold of $18 million, Governor Rauner said several other factors should be considered when Illinois’ request is reviewed. Some of the same areas hit by the flooding and storms were also impacted by severe storms and flooding last summer, leaving already cash-strapped local governments struggling once again to scrap together funds to repair roads and other critical infrastructure.


All of the counties included in the state’s request for federal assistance to local governments exceeded the required county threshold of $3.57 per capita. If Rauner’s request for Individual Assistance is approved, people in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest SBA loans. Affected businesses would be able to apply for low-interest SBA loans. If Rauner’s request for Public Assistance is approved, local governments in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for up to 75% reimbursement of their eligible disaster-related expenses. 

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