SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today asked President Bush to declare 15 southern Illinois counties major disaster areas as a result of flooding that devastated areas of those counties in March, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses. If approved, a federal disaster declaration would enable people and businesses affected by the floods to apply for grants and loans to help with flood losses.
Counties included in the request are Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Union, White and Williamson.
“From our damage assessments, it’s clear that federal assistance is needed to help the people of southern Illinois recover from this devastating flood,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “Today I’m urging the President and FEMA to quickly approve my request for a federal disaster declaration so we can get these people the help they need.”
Gov. Blagojevich’s request followed damage assessments conducted last week by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). The agencies documented damage to homes and businesses throughout the affected area, including 39 homes that were destroyed, 150 homes that received major damage and 374 homes that sustained lesser damage. In addition, 145 businesses were damaged by flood waters.
If granted, the federal disaster declaration would make assistance available, including:
- Assistance for individuals and households, which can include cash grants to help with temporary housing, home repairs and replacement, medical, dental, funeral, and other disaster-related costs.
- Low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Hazard mitigation assistance, which could help fund projects to prevent similar flooding and storm damage in the future.
Gov. Blagojevich declared 19 southern Illinois counties disaster areas on March 20. The state continues to work closely with officials in the affected counties to ensure they receive any assistance needed during recovery efforts.
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