SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the federal government approved the state’s request for federal assistance for units of local government in Cook, Knox and Warren counties for extraordinary expenses incurred responding to and recovering from severe storms and flooding that hit the areas in late August.
“State, county and local agencies responded in full force to help people after damaging winds and severe flooding in Cook, Knox and Warren counties - but the financial cost of those efforts is considerable,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “We’ve been working with county officials to thoroughly assess costs and I’m pleased that FEMA quickly agreed that this assistance is necessary.”
On September 14, Gov. Blagojevich sent a letter to President Bush requesting the federal disaster declaration for nine counties, including Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The letter outlined the extent of damage to homes and businesses, as well as the extraordinary expenses incurred by local and state government for responding to and recovering from the storm and subsequent flooding. At that time he also reserved the right to request damage assessments for Knox and Warren counties.
On September 25, the federal government announced that it had approved federal assistance for people and businesses in DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle, Lake and Will counties, as well as assistance to local governments in DeKalb, Kane and LaSalle counties for extraordinary expenses related to response and recovery efforts.
Local and state government bodies in the approved counties can apply for reimbursement for 75 percent of their extraordinary storm-related expenses for such things as emergency work, debris removal from public roads and repair or replacement of infrastructure.
Preliminary damage assessments conducted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and FEMA documented local government storm-related expenses totaling nearly $17 million in Cook County, $361,955 in Knox County and $108,487 in Warren County.