SPRINGFIELD - March 12, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the state’s efforts to secure federal assistance for people affected by the Feb. 29 tornado.
“Today I spoke with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and informed her that we intend to appeal FEMA’s denial of our request for much-needed individual assistance for the people of Southern Illinois. I urged Secretary Napolitano to reconsider FEMA's decision. We are doing everything possible at the state level to help these devastated communities, but some of the assistance that our residents need to begin rebuilding their lives is only available through a federal disaster declaration.
“I met with local officials, spent time with residents and saw firsthand the devastation and damage caused by the tornado in Southern Illinois. FEMA underestimated the impact this deadly tornado had on small towns like Harrisburg and Ridgway. We have already begun work on our appeal of this decision in order to secure federal assistance.
“I am grateful to Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk and the Illinois Congressional Delegation for their vigorous support of our efforts to bring assistance to the people whose lives were ripped apart by the Feb. 29 tornado. We are hopeful our joint efforts will help FEMA understand that a full recovery from this disaster cannot happen without their support.”