FEMA has denied Illinois federal aid for storm damage that occurred as a result of tornadoes that ravaged several counties in the state last November.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who plans to appeal the decision, requested aid for local governments in Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne and Woodford counties back in December.
“While we appreciate FEMA’s partnership in helping individuals and businesses recover, I’m disappointed in this decision,” Quinn said in a press release announcing his plans. “My Administration will immediately work to develop a strong appeal that demonstrates how much this assistance is needed. The state of Illinois will continue doing everything necessary to help our hardest hit communities rebuild and recover from these historic tornadoes.”
The request for assistance included "documentation of tornado-related expenses, such as emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of government-owned facilities incurred by the nine counties and the state," according to the governor's office. FEMA and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) calculated that the damages amounted to more $6.1 million via a joint damage assessment, but that figure is less than the $17.8 million federal Illinois threshold for assistance, which is calculated by multiplying the state's population by $1.35. Quinn's office argues that the "calculation hurts the chances of aid for geographically large states with large urban centers like Illinois."