Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin damage assessments on Thursday, November 21 in several Illinois counties devastated by Sunday's tornadoes and severe storms. The assessments were requested by the Governor and will provide the documentation necessary to support a request for federal assistance.
"The state of Illinois is doing everything necessary to ensure that every community impacted by these deadly tornados can rebuild and recover," Governor Quinn said. "These teams will gather information to help us quickly submit a federal disaster assistance request."
Five teams comprising personnel from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration and local emergency management agencies will begin assessing damage to homes and businesses in Champaign, Grundy, Massac, Pope, Tazewell and Will counties on Thursday. The teams will continue until they have assessed damage in these counties plus the others that Governor Quinn declared state disaster areas -- Douglas, Jasper, LaSalle, Pope, Wabash, Washington, Wayne and Woodford.
Assessment teams from IEMA and FEMA will begin meeting with local government officials in early December to collect information about disaster-related expenses they incurred. That information could be used to support a state request for federal assistance to reimburse units of government for 75 percent of their eligible expenses.
Governor Quinn on Monday surveyed damage and met with local officials in the severely impacted communities of Washington, Diamond, Gifford, Brookport and New Minden.
Governor Quinn activated the State Incident Response Center on Sunday to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas. The state's tornado response is coordinated by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. State assistance provided to tornado-impacted communities to date includes:
- Personnel from IEMA to the affected communities to assist with response and recovery issues.
- Four Technical Rescue Teams were sent to Washington.
- One Technical Rescue Team was sent to Gifford.
- Two three-man engine companies will work 12-hour shifts through Wednesday in Gifford to provide much-needed relief to the town's firefighters.
- More than 40 light towers have been delivered to assist with nighttime operations in Washington (26), Pekin (6), Gifford (10) and Brookport (2).
- Command vehicles have been deployed to Washington and Pekin to support response operations.
- Gifford was assisted with public water supply interruption.
- Law enforcement support has come from the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and Illinois Commerce Commission officers.
- One five-person Emergency Management Assistance Team support trailer and 10 Starcom radios have been provided to Brookport.
- 40 Starcom 21 radios have been provided to assist Washington responders with emergency communications.
- A programmable sign board from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to Gifford for emergency information.
In addition, IDOT and the Illinois Department of Corrections are coordinating with local officials to provide assistance with clean up of debris in tornado-impacted communities.