Governor Bruce Rauner has announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will assist with damage assessments in nearly two dozen counties devastated by record and near-record flooding and severe storms in late December and early January.
“We want to do everything possible to help people and communities affected by this devastating flooding and the severe storms that preceded it,” Governor Rauner said. “These damage assessments will provide us with greater detail as to the impact of these storms and could be used to support a request for federal assistance if the results indicate we meet federal requirements.”
Personnel from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damage to homes and businesses in Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Iroquois, Jersey, Madison, Randolph, Sangamon and St. Clair counties on February 4.
FEMA will also work with the state and local officials on assessments of storm-related costs incurred by local governments in Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Marion, Mason, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair and Vermilion counties. Those assessments are expected to begin on February 1.
Governor Rauner added Bureau and Mason counties to the state declaration for the disaster after local governments in those counties submitted information about their storm and flood-related expenses. Twenty-three counties previously were declared state disaster areas for this event.
The state provided assistance to many of the affected communities, including more than one million sandbags, 10,515 tons of rock, 4,546 tons of sand, 732 rolls of plastic, 8,600 hours by inmates filling and placing sandbags, 133,000 sandbags filled by inmates and more. The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated on Dec. 28 to coordinate deployments of personnel and resources to help communities battle floodwaters.