Federal Disaster Declaration Would Help People, Businessesin Kankakee, LaSalle, Livingston, Peoria and Putnam Counties

SPRINGFIELD - June 18, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today asked President Obama to declare Kankakee, LaSalle, Livingston, Peoria and Putnam counties major disasters areas. If approved, a federal disaster declaration would help people and businesses affected by the June 5 tornadoes recover from the storm's aftermath by allowing them to apply for grants and loans to assist with storm-related losses.

"Many people in these areas are struggling to recover from the tornadoes that ripped their lives apart," said Governor Quinn. "As I said when I toured a devastated neighborhood in Dwight shortly after the storms, we need to do everything possible to get help to these people. Today, I'm asking President Obama to quickly approve federal assistance for these five counties, so people can begin to piece their lives back together."

Earlier this week, damage assessment teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local officials documented the extent of damage in all five counties. Governor Quinn's request for federal assistance is based on the results of those assessments, which determined that 62 homes were destroyed by the storm and 42 suffered major damage. Nearly 160 additional homes were damaged to a lesser extent. 

If granted, the federal disaster declaration would make assistance available, including grants to individuals and households to help with temporary housing, home repairs or replacement and other disaster-related expenses, as well as low-interest SBA loans to residents and businesses.

"The State of Illinois continues to do everything possible to help these communities recover from the tornadoes," said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger. "After conducting the damage assessments this week, it's apparent that federal assistance is needed to help many of the storm victims recover."

Governor Quinn previously declared all five counties state disaster areas to ensure affected communities received needed state assistance to recover from the storms. The State of Illinois has been assisting with debris removal in several of the affected communities for the past two weeks.

Several trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are helping with clean up efforts today in Streator and Dwight. In addition, inmate crews from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) are assisting with the debris removal today in Streator.

Additional information about the state's storm response efforts is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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