Gov. Pritzker Requests Federal Disaster Declaration in Wake of Historic Spring Floods

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With the state’s disaster assessment concluded, Governor JB Pritzker has officially requested a federal disaster declaration be issued for Illinois due to the devastating floods that plagued our state since February 2019.  In his request, Governor Pritzker requested Individual Assistance (IA) for 22 counties and Public Assistance (PA) for 32 counties.  If approved, a federal disaster declaration would help local governments, residents and businesses affected by this historic flood recover from the disaster by allowing them to apply for grants and loans to assist with storm-related expenses and losses.
 
Counties included in the Public Assistance (PA) request: Adams; Alexander; Bureau; Calhoun; Carroll; Cass; Fulton; Greene; Hancock; Henderson; Henry; Jackson; Jersey; Knox; LaSalle; Lee; Madison; Mercer; Monroe; Morgan; Peoria; Pike; Randolph; Rock Island; Schuyler; Scott; St. Clair; Stephenson; Tazewell; Union; Whiteside; and Winnebago counties.
 
Counties included in the Individual Assistance (IA) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans request: Adams; Alexander; Calhoun; Carroll; Hancock; Henderson; Henry; Jackson; Jersey; Knox; Madison; Mercer; Monroe; Peoria; Pike; Randolph; Rock Island; Stephenson; Union; Whiteside; Winnebago; and Woodford counties.
 
“For more than 150 consecutive days, historic and unprecedented spring floods and severe storms plagued communities across our state, and first responders did an incredible job protecting life and property,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “However, seven families experienced the ultimate tragedy when their loved ones perished due to this natural disaster. This flood tore children from their homes, severely restricted key transportation lifelines and decimated local economies – and it may take years for some communities to fully recover. I respectfully request the full resources of the federal government be brought to bear in response to this emergency. Our communities deserve every opportunity to rebuild, and be even stronger and more resilient than before.” 
 
To support this request for a federal disaster declaration, documentation was included from the recent joint damage assessment, conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and affected communities.  This assessment illustrated the devastating effects of this flood event:

• More than $69 million in direct losses, including over $8.2 million in losses for individuals and $61 million in losses for units of state, county and local governments.  This does not include the millions in other economic impacts, such as lost wages to individuals, lost revenue for businesses, and lost tax revenues for impacted governments. 

• Over 1,000 miles of roadway and bridges were damaged or left inaccessible, affecting some of the most vulnerable populations. Many still are. This disruption forced residents to travel up to two hours to receive healthcare or basic necessities like groceries.

• More than 1,400 homes and 2.1 million people were impacted by this flood event. Of that, 42 homes were destroyed, 178 sustained major damage, 419 were listed as having minor damage and another 708 were impacted by rising floodwaters.

• An SBA Survey Team identified 76 businesses and non-profits with major impacts from this disaster and 217 with minor impacts, which directly impacts the amount of tax revenue available for affected communities to devote to recovery, making federal assistance all the more necessary. 

Illinois has not received a federal disaster declaration since 2013. The Stafford Act outlines that the State of Illinois must meet or exceed $19 million in damages in order to qualify for a federal disaster declaration. While the ultimate decision on Illinois receiving federal funds lies with Washington, the Pritzker administration will work tirelessly to ensure our communities get all resources available to recover.
 
Additional information about the state’s storm response efforts is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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