SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn Thursday asked President Barack Obama to declare 11 Illinois counties, including Grundy County, major disaster areas.
The request comes in the wake of the storms and heavy rainfall that moved through the state in mid-April.
If the governor’s request is approved, residents in those counties will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans to help recover from the historic flooding. Counties included in the request are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, La Salle, McHenry and Will.
“We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Governor Quinn said. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of Illinois can soon receive the federal help they need.”
Five damage assessment teams with personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials have documented damage for more than 3,500 homes since April 29. The governor will continue to request assistance for counties devastated by flooding as damage assessments are completed.
For the 11 counties included in Thursday’s request, the teams identified 41 homes that were destroyed, 761 with major damage, and 2,715 homes that also were damaged. In addition, nearly 80 businesses sustained flood damage. If the federal request is approved, affected businesses in those counties will be eligible to apply for low-interest SBA loans.
Governor Quinn also plans to seek federal assistance to help local governments recoup 75 percent of their eligible flood-related costs. IEMA and FEMA currently are meeting with local government officials to document expenses incurred for emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of roads, bridges and other public facilities. This information is needed to support a request from the governor.
The process to request public assistance began May 6 when five teams began meeting with local officials, and will continue through the end of May.
Governor Quinn declared a total of 49 counties state disaster areas after torrential rains caused widespread flash and river flooding. His declaration made available a wide variety of state resources to help affected communities respond and recover from flooding.
Those counties include: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, La Salle, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.