U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s denial of federal funding for the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes was unacceptable. They called for a meeting between members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation and the FEMA Administrator to discuss the State of Illinois' appeal of this decision.
"This decision by FEMA is unacceptable and out of touch with the reality that residents of Harrisburg, Ridgway and the surrounding areas are facing as the storm clean-up continues," said the Senators. "We fully support the appeal that Governor Quinn is putting together and would like to discuss that with Administrator Fugate and the Illinois Congressional Delegation in Washington next week. The damage from the storms in Southern Illinois is among the worst our state has seen in recent years. Federal funding is greatly needed to help residents and families rebuild and we will continue working to see that these communities are made whole again."
On Thursday, Durbin and Kirk were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief for Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union, and Williamson Counties due to the storms and tornadoes that ravaged the area leaving local governments, charitable organizations, voluntary agencies and evacuees taking on the initial costs of the disasters. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to help pay for storm damage repairs.