The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s appeal Friday to help St. Clair County, Madison County and some other local governments recover from severe flooding and storms that occurred in late December and early January.
The appeal was submitted through Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office April 8 and reported nearly $1.8 million in additional qualifying costs for Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Clark, Cumberland, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair and Vermilion counties. Total disaster-related local government expenses reached nearly $16.8 million, according to figures shared by the governor’s office earlier this month.
“The process is supposed to take into account a multitude of factors, but this denial demonstrates that only the numbers really matter,” James K. Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said in a press release. “States with high populations concentrated in urban areas, such as we have in northeastern Illinois, often struggle to reach their thresholds, particularly when the impacts are in rural, sparsely populated areas of the state. Once again our poorest communities continue to suffer because of this unfair process.”
St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency also expressed disappointment in the FEMA decision through a Facebook post Friday afternoon.
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“This was the final attempt to recover expended funds for local municipalities and unfortunately it was not approved,” St. Clair EMA wrote.
Under federal rules, the state cannot submit another appeal for federal assistance.