Illinois To Appeal FEMA Rejection For Tornado Aid - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois To Appeal FEMA Rejection For Tornado Aid

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When Governor Pat Quinn is ready, the State of Illinois and FEMA officials will revisit and reassess the communities hit by the tornadoes including Washington, Illinois.

It's hard for many to believe that from this enormous disaster, public assistance wasn't granted. And although there is a lot of disappointment, FEMA and the state are going to work through this together.
      
The State of Illinois is $11 million below the threshold that deems the deadly November tornadoes severe enough for federal aid. In the initial inspection,  $6 million in damage was listed statewide, but FEMA requires $17 million.

At the same time, that hasn't stopped an appeals process that many hope overturns the public assistance denial. 

"My glass is always half full I'm real comfortable and positive with the governor supporting us we'll be successful," said Mayor Gary Manier of Washington, IL.
     
FEMA officials said they encourage everyone, including the state and individual survivors to try again if they get denied aid or even if they think they weren't given enough. 

"As far as public assistance is concerned, we're right there with the governor on his appeal," said spokesperson for FEMA Tim Tyson. "We'll get the damage assessment teams on the ground with his people as soon as he's ready."
     
The state's ability to respond to the disaster as well as it's severity and magnitude are taken into account when assessing damage.

Tyson also said they haven't stopped individual assistance and about $2 million in grants that have been given to survivors so far. Another $10 million in low interest loans have been given out by the Small Business Administration, which works with FEMA in disasters. 

Governor Quinn has 30 days to appeal FEMA's decision. 

In the meantime, FEMA representatives said they think there are several hundred tornado survivors who have not yet registered for help and are passing up those grants.Registration is open until Jan. 27th. 

And other organizations, including the red cross, are also providing aid.