Durbin, Kirk, Delegation Call on President to Provide Federal Relief for Southern Illinois Counties

WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)–May 24, 2011.  U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to the 14 Southern Illinois counties affected by a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in April and May. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to help pay for storm damage repairs.

“Dozens of homes in the affected counties were inundated with floodwaters during the April and May storms. Hundreds of people who live in the communities at risk of levee failure evacuated for more than a week during the cresting of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers,” wrote the Illinois members. “The costs that people incurred while away from their homes during the evacuation and the costs to find temporary housing as they clean and repair their storm and flood damaged residences are overwhelming. We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that people in these fourteen counties can receive the assistance they need to remove clean up and repair the damage to their homes.”

Earlier today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent a letter to President Obama requesting a major disaster declaration for 14 counties in Southern Illinois – Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White and Williamson – due to storms beginning April 19, 2011 that ravaged the counties leaving local governments, charitable organizations, voluntary agencies and evacuees taking on the initial costs of the disasters.

Members signing on to today’s letter include Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Bobby Schilling (R-IL) Aaron Schock (R-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Walsh (R-IL).

[Text of the letter below]

May 24, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. President:

We write in support of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s request for a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois as a result of a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding that began on April 19, 2011. The counties affected are Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White, and Williamson.

Dozens of homes in the affected counties were inundated with floodwaters during the April and May storms. Hundreds of people who live in the communities at risk of levee failure evacuated for more than a week during the cresting of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Evacuees spent the time away from their homes in emergency shelters, with friends and relatives or in hotels. Cost for food, lodging and care were incurred by local governments, charitable organizations, voluntary agencies and the evacuees themselves during the peak of the flooding. Sixty-two to seventy-five percent of the people in the two most severely affected counties are low income and do not have the financial ability to recover from the disaster. The costs that people incurred while away from their homes during the evacuation and the costs to find temporary housing as they clean and repair their storm and flood damaged residences are overwhelming.

Governor Quinn has determined that this disaster is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments. Supplementary federal assistance is necessary. Due to the urgency of assisting those individuals and households most severely affected by this disaster, the Governor is requesting Individual Assistance (including the Individuals and Households Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling) and U. S. Small Business Administration disaster loans for Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, White and Williamson counties. Governor Quinn also is requesting Hazard Mitigation Assistance for all counties statewide.

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

Sincerely,

Source: durbin.senate.gov