Springfield, IL -- Disaster assistance for Adams, Effingham, Fayette, Hancock and Richland Counties has been expanded to include aid for local governments affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and floods in Illinois, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the additional assistance was approved following a review of damage data gathered by federal and state disaster recovery officials. Under the original declaration issued by President Bush in late May, the counties were designated for aid to individuals, families and business owners.
"Our continuing commitment is not only to help meet the recovery needs of devastated families and businesses," Allbaugh said, " but to ensure that the vital community services they also depend on are restored as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Under the expanded assistance, Allbaugh said affected local governments in the five counties are eligible to apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. State agencies and certain private non-profit organizations in those counties may also be eligible for infrastructure assistance.
Procedures for requesting the assistance will be explained to local officials at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly by IEMA and federal disaster officials.
On May 21, President Bush issued the original declaration designating 30 counties in southern Illinois for aid to individuals, families and business owners. Thirty-eight more counties in the central part of the state were added for individual assistance on May 30, bringing the total to 68. On June 6, Allbaugh designated 33 of those 68 counties eligible for assistance to local governments. Today's announcement makes a total of 38 counties eligible for assistance to local governments.