WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D) this week expressed disappointment after receiving word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied the State of Illinois’ request for Public Assistance to help nine Illinois counties recover from the deadly tornadoes that struck the state on November 17, 2013. The State of Illinois plans to appeal the decision.
"I am incredibly disappointed with FEMA's decision to deny Illinois the necessary funding it needs to rebuild after November's devastating tornadoes," Sen. Kirk said. "Having seen firsthand the destruction that our state has suffered, and having met countless volunteers and families affected by these 24 tornadoes, those families and the hard working members of our community deserve the opportunity to rebuild and recover from the deadly storms. I fully support Governor Quinn's appeal of this decision."
“This was some of the worst storm damage I have ever seen,” said Durbin. “While the Individual Assistance designation that the counties received just before Christmas will help families and businesses recover, a Public Assistance designation is desperately needed to help local governments rebuild the infrastructure that will make these communities whole again. I am disappointed in today’s decision, but I will support Governor Quinn’s appeal and work with the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation to identify other opportunities for federal assistance.”
In December, Kirk and Durbin were joined by members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to President Obama in support of Governor Quinn’s request for FEMA Public Assistance for nine Illinois counties – Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne, and Woodford – due to immense storm damage. Federal Public Assistance would remove debris, repair damage to public water systems, and continue day-to-day operations as recovery from the disaster continues over the next several months.