Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported today that federal disaster aid has been made available for flood-stricken families and businesses in western Illinois under a major disaster declaration issued for the state by President Bush.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the President took the action after a review of the agency's analysis of damage data gathered by federal and state survey teams. The declaration covers damage to private property from flooding that began April 18.
Following the President's declaration, Allbaugh designated the counties of Carroll, Hancock, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Rock Island and Whiteside eligible for aid to affected residents and business owners.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs and other serious disaster?related expenses. Low?interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
In addition, Allbaugh said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for debris removal and emergency services related to the disaster in the counties of Adams, Calhoun, Carroll, Hancock, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Mercer, Pike, Rock Island and Whiteside. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Allbaugh indicated that damage surveys are continuing and more counties and additional forms of aid for state and local governments may be designated later based on the results of the assessments. He named Robert R. Colangelo of FEMA to coordinate the federal relief effort.
Colangelo said those who sustained losses in the counties designated for aid to stricken residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will be available starting Friday, May 11, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.