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Lawmakers seek FEMA aid for areas hit by storm

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., were joined Thursday by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to provide Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance to help nine Illinois counties – including Grundy County – recover from the Nov. 17 tornadoes.

“The tornado damage from severe storms this fall in Central and Southern Illinois that I saw firsthand was some of the worst I have ever seen,” Durbin said in a joint news release from his and Kirk’s offices. “It will take months and even years to rebuild. Additional help is needed to give families in Central and Southern Illinois some relief, especially so close to the holiday season.”

A declaration of individual assistance and hazard mitigation assistance was made last month. The new request, for federal public assistance, would help affected communities remove debris, repair damage to public water systems, and continue day-to-day operations as recovery from the disaster continues over the next several months, according to the news release.

“Having seen firsthand the devastation that November’s tornadoes brought to thousands of Illinois families, I strongly urge President Obama to provide adequate public assistance and relief to the families and communities affected by these storms,” Kirk said in the news release.

Gov. Pat Quinn sent a letter Thursday to Obama requesting FEMA public assistance for Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne, and Woodford counties.

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