Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will assist with more formal damage assessments in nearly two dozen counties, including Madison and St. Clair, affected by flooding and severe storms in late December and early January.
“We want to do everything possible to help people and communities affected by this devastating flooding and the severe storms that preceded it,” Rauner said. “These damage assessments will provide us with greater detail as to the impact of these storms and could be used to support a request for federal assistance if the results indicate we meet federal requirements.”
If it appears flood-related costs and damage will meet the federal assistance benchmarks, Rauner could request a federal disaster declaration from President Barack Obama. A federal declaration could make federal assistance available for individuals and local governments.
Personnel from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damage to homes and businesses in Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Iroquois, Jersey, Madison, Randolph, Sangamon and St. Clair counties on Feb. 4.
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FEMA also plans to work with the state and local officials on assessments of storm-related costs incurred by local governments in Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Marion, Mason, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair and Vermilion counties. Those assessments are expected to begin on Monday.
“What they’ll be doing...is sitting down with local entities that incurred expenses ... and determining if costs would be eligible for federal assistance,” said IEMA spokeswoman Patti Thompson.