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May 16, 2003

President Bush grants governor’s request for federal disaster assistance for counties hit by tornadoes
Twelve Illinois counties declared federal disaster areas

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that President George W. Bush has granted his request for federal disaster assistance in 12 Illinois counties that were hit by recent tornadoes, severe storms, and flooding.


“I am very appreciative that President Bush responded so quickly to my request,” said Governor Blagojevich, who sent his letter of request to the President on Wednesday. “This disaster declaration will bring much needed assistance to the individuals, families and businesses suffering from the devastation caused by the recent tornadoes and storms.”


The counties included in the federal declaration are Adams, Alexander, Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Mason, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Schuyler, Tazewell and Woodford. Additional counties that suffered flash flooding are still being assessed and may be added to the declaration in the next few days.


 “Earlier this week, I toured the tornado-damaged areas and saw the devastation and destruction.  It was clear that there would be tremendous costs to help these communities and families rebuild,” said the Governor.  “The state is committing all of its resources to help with the recovery process.  And I am pleased that the federal government will provide funding to help supplement our efforts.”


This declaration provides the following for victims of the tornadoes and storms in the counties declared:

·        Long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration for homeowners, renters and business owners.

·        Temporary housing assistance.

·        Grants for homeowners to repair disaster damage not covered by insurance.

·        Grants for uninsured disaster-related expenses.


To apply for assistance, disaster victims in the declared counties should call 1-800-621-3362 or TTD at 1-800-462-7585.


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