Story by 89 WLS Web Writer Kim Rasmussen
Governor Pat Quinn asked President Barack Obama Thursday to declare 11 counties major disaster areas due to floods that occurred in April.
If Quinn's request is approved, residents will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans to help in the recovery process.
Counties included in the request are: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will.
“We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Quinn said. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of Illinois can soon receive the federal help they need.”
Five damage assessment teams have documented damage to more than 3,500 area homes ince April 29. For the 11 counties included in Quinn's request, teams identified 41 homes that were destroyed, 761 with major damage and 2,715 with other damage.
Nearly 80 businesses were also damaged. If the federal request is approved, businesses will be eligible to apply for low-interest SBA loans.
Quinn also plans to seek federal assistance to help local governments recoup 75-percent of eligible flood-related costs. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are meeting with local government officials to document emergency expenses, debris removal and repair to roads, bridges and other public facilities.
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