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Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Call for Federal Relief for Flood Impacted Illinois Counties

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation today in sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to the 11 Illinois counties affected by a flash and river flooding that occurred last month. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow people impacted by flooding to apply for federal loans and reimbursements to help pay for storm and flood damage repairs.

"The State of Illinois has determined that state and local funds are not adequate to address the damage to public infrastructure and costs related to debris removal and emergency protective measures resulting from this weather event," wrote the Illinois Delegation Members. "We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that these counties can receive the assistance they need. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate."

Earlier today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent a letter to President Obama requesting a major disaster declaration for 48 counties in Illinois -- Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will -- due to storms beginning April 18, 2013.

Today's request is for Individual Assistance funding which provides assistance to individuals and businesses to help with temporary housing, home repairs or replacement and other disaster-related expenses. The State of Illinois is currently working on putting together a request for Public Assistance eligibility which would allow the State of Illinois, local governments, and certain non-profit organizations to apply for grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities.

Members signing on to today's letter include Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bill Enyart (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Aaron Schock (R-IL) and John Shimkus (R-IL).

[Text of the letter below]

May 9, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

We write in support of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's request for a federal disaster declaration for counties in Illinois. Forty-eight counties have been declared a state disaster to date. Federal assistance is necessary to help these counties recover from flash and river flooding that occurred as a result of severe April rainstorms.

The State of Illinois has determined that state and local funds are not adequate to address the damage to public infrastructure and costs related to debris removal and emergency protective measures resulting from this weather event.

As a result of the torrential rainfall, rivers in Illinois reached historic record-high levels and dangerous flooding occurred all across the state. Our communities experienced major property damage, evacuations, road closures, at least one fatality and several injuries. It is clear from the magnitude of the damage that recovery efforts will be beyond the means of state and local budgets. A major disaster declaration will make critical federal assistance available to help our communities to rebuild and recover from this severe storm.

We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that these counties can receive the assistance they need. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.


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