The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 24, 2014

Officials extend aid deadline

Staff Report
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — State officials received a deadline extension Wednesday for residents seeking federal disaster aid as a result of November’s tornadoes.

Originally, people had until Monday to file to seek grants and loans to help with their recovery from damage suffered in the Nov. 17 tornadoes that crossed Vermilion County and 14 other counties in central Illinois.

A request Wednesday, according to an Illinois Emergency Management Agency release, allowed the state to extend the deadline to Feb. 3.

To date, more than 2,400 applications for disaster aid have been received from people in the 15 federally declared counties.

More than $2.3 million in federal grants has been awarded to help people with disaster-related expenses. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved $14.2 million in disaster assistance loans to help people and businesses recover.

Gov. Pat Quinn successfully secured federal aid for 15 counties an Illinois November record of 25 tornadoes caused widespread destruction across the state.

The federal disaster declaration includes Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties.

Residents wanting to apply for assistance from FEMA can register by going to online, from a smartphone or tablet or call (800) 621-FEMA between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

FEMA grants can help cover eligible disaster-related expenses including temporary housing for owners and renter, home repairs and rebuilding, repair or replacement of lost property, including vehicles; and other costs not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.

Earlier this month, FEMA denied the state’s request for federal assistance that would provide reimbursement to affected local governments in nine counties for their disaster-related expenses. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is working with local officials in those counties to compile additional information for an appeal. The state has until Feb. 8 to submit that appeal.