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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable George W. Bush, The President of the United States

Durbin, Obama: Illinois Delegation Members Support Request for Federal Assistance

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Barack Obama (D-IL) joined members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation today in sending a letter to the President in support of Governor Rod Blagojevich's request for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance for the 21 Illinois counties affected by severe flooding.

"The magnitude of this disaster is beyond the capacity of state or local governments to bear alone," said the Illinois members. "We appreciate FEMA's assistance to date and respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that residents of affected areas can receive the federal disaster assistance essential to a successful recovery. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this urgent request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate."

Members signing on to today's letter include: Representatives Melissa Bean (D-IL), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Ray LaHood (R-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and John Shimkus (R-IL).

text of letter below

June 20, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to support Governor Rod Blagojevich's request for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance for the 21 counties in Illinois affected by severe flooding beginning June 1, 2008, and continuing, and for Hazard Mitigation statewide. This is an addendum to the Governor's June 13, 2008 letter requesting an expedited major disaster declaration for Direct Federal Assistance. Governor Blagojevich has already declared these counties state disaster areas.

The recent storms and subsequent flooding of the Mississippi River and its tributaries have devastated many communities in the Midwest, recalling the widespread damage from the Great Flood of 1993. In Illinois, floodwaters have breached levees, overtaken thousands of acres of farmland, closed bridges and roads, suspended Amtrak service, cut off access to potable water, evacuated communities, and damaged homes, businesses, and critical public infrastructure. Governor Blagojevich has issued state disaster declarations for Adams, Calhoun, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Hancock, Henderson, Jasper, Jersey, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Mercer, Pike, Rock Island, St. Clair, and Winnebago counties.

The magnitude of this disaster is beyond the capacity of state or local governments to bear alone. We appreciate FEMA's assistance to date and respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that residents of affected areas can receive the federal disaster assistance essential to a successful recovery. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this urgent request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.

Sincerely,


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