Durbin: President Issues Major Disaster Declaration for State of Illinois

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has made a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recover from November 17, 2013 severe storms, high winds and tornadoes that ravaged areas in Central and Southern Illinois leaving local governments, charitable organizations, voluntary agencies and evacuees taking on the initial costs of the damage. The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and businesses in the counties of Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, La Salle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will, and Woodford. 

“The tornado damage that I saw firsthand last week was some of the worst I have ever seen,” said Durbin. “It will take months and in many cases, years, to rebuild, but I hope today’s decision by President Obama will give families in Central and Southern Illinois some relief this holiday season knowing that federal help is on the way.  I am pleased this disaster declaration has come so quickly.”

Yesterday, Durbin joined U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation in requesting that President Obama issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to fifteen Central and Southern Illinois counties.  On Friday, Durbin joined Washington Mayor Gary Manier, Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken, and the Illinois State Police on a visit to Washington, Illinois to talk with storm victims, receive an update on recovery efforts, and tour the affected areas. Photos are available here.

Individuals and businesses in these counties are now eligible for federal Individual Assistance funding which provides financial assistance to help with temporary housing, home repairs or replacement and other disaster-related expenses.  Additionally, all Illinois counties have been designated for Hazard Mitigation Assistance areas which include funding for measures designed to reduce future losses to public and private property.