SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday asked President Barack Obama to reconsider the recent denial of Illinois’ request for federal assistance to help local governments recover from severe flooding and storms in late December and early January.
The appeal included nearly $1.8 million in additional qualifying costs and spelled out additional factors that justify Illinois’ request for federal assistance for local governments in Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Clark, Cumberland, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair and Vermilion counties.
“Illinois is committed to continued recovery efforts in these counties,” Rauner said. “Without this federal assistance, the ability for many communities to recover fully from this devastating disaster will be difficult, if not impossible.”
Earlier this week, personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency met with local officials in several of the affected counties to review flood-related local government expenses discovered after the initial state request for assistance had been sent. With the additional $1.8 million, total disaster-related local government expenses reached nearly $16.8 million.
The state’s appeal also notes severe localized impacts should be taken into consideration, such as per capita damage costs of $486 in Alexander County, more than $480 above the required county per capita of $3.57. The appeal also cites the effects of recent disasters in eight of the 17 counties, as well as the state’s nationally recognized mitigation and floodplain management efforts that significantly reduced costly impacts in many areas of the state.
If the governor’s appeal is approved, local governments in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for up to 75 percent reimbursement of their eligible disaster-related expenses.
“We’re committed to continuing to work with affected communities to ensure residents get the help they need to recover from the floods,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said.