Obama OKs disaster relief request for flood-stricken IL counties - New York News

Obama OKs disaster relief request for flood-stricken Ill. counties

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Governor Pat Quinn announced Friday that President Barack Obama had approved Quinn's request for disaster relief after the record-setting rainfall Illinois received in April.

Quinn submitted the request one day ago, asking for assistance for Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will counties, according to a statement from Quinn's office.

The disaster distinction will allow for residents of the designated counties to apply for grants and loans to pay for flood-related expenses.

"I thank President Obama for his fast and responsive approval of our request for federal assistance to help families across Illinois recover from this devastating flood," Quinn said in a statement.

Quinn declared a total of 49 counties state disaster areas after torrential rains caused widespread flash and river flooding.

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois joined the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to the president asking him to honor Quinn's request and issue a major disaster declaration.

Five damage assessment teams with personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials have documented damage for more than 3,500 homes since April 29, the statement said.

For the 11 counties included in Thursday's request, the teams identified 41 homes that were destroyed, 761 with major damage and 2,715 with some damage, according to the governor's office. In addition, nearly 80 businesses sustained flood damage.

The governor also planned to seek federal assistance to help local governments recoup 75 percent of their eligible flood-related costs.

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