WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for Illinois communities hit by the recent snowstorm under an emergency declaration issued for the state by President Clinton today.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the President took the action after reviewing the agency's analysis of a request for federal assistance made by Gov. Jim Edgar. The state has been dealing with the on-going effects of severe winter weather since January 1.
Immediately after the declaration, Witt designated 34 counties eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures. This includes state and local government operations to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
The eligible counties include Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeWitt, DuPage, Ford, Fulton, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, Livingston, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Menard, Peoria, Piatt, Pike, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Will, and Woodford.
Under the declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to local and state agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime, related to emergency protective measures dealing with the snow for a 48 hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response will also be eligible for reimbursement.
Witt named Lawrence L. Bailey, of FEMA's regional office in Chicago, Ill., to coordinate federal recovery operations in the stricken state.