SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that President Bush has approved his request and declared nine counties as federal disaster areas as a result of tornadoes, thunderstorms and damaging winds beginning on April 21. Counties covered by the Presidential declaration are Clay, Franklin, Johnson, Marion, Pope, Saline, St. Clair, Wayne and Union. In addition, any county that is contiguous to the declared counties will also be eligible for disaster assistance. The contiguous counties include Alexander, Clinton, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Washington, White and Williamson.
The Governor’s letter to the President this week also requested that federal disaster assistance be granted for counties impacted by flooding. Therefore, IEMA and FEMA will begin conducting damage assessments Wednesday in counties that have experienced flood damage starting with those along the Sangamon and Illinois rivers. These damage assessments will provide valuable information to state and federal officials to determine the need for supplemental federal disaster assistance. IEMA and other state agencies continue to work with local officials to ensure that necessary resources are available to maintain an effective flood fight.
“I want to thank President Bush for his quick attention to the needs of Illinois residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged in these storms,” Governor Ryan said. “It is my hope that the counties now battling floods will be added to the list of counties to receive federal assistance.”
Specifically, the Individual Assistance Programs including Disaster Housing Assistance, Individual & Family Grants and Small Business Administration low-interest loans for the declared counties and all contiguous counties will be made available.
Disaster victims may apply for assistance by telephone through a national tele-registration center operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Daylight Time seven days a week. Callers should have their address, social security number, a list of damages and losses suffered, directions to the damaged property and insurance policy number readily available when calling for assistance.