The parts of southern Illinois destroyed by a deadly storms and a tornado last month will NOT be declared federal disaster areas. US Senator Dick Durbin says FEMA's decision will make it tough on local government, businesses and individuals affected by the storms:
"Without the federal designation, there are limited opportunities for federal help. And take a look at what's happening here with our own state treasury. There's a limited opportunity there to compensate for these losses. I have just never seen worse devastation, and I find it hard to imagine that it didn't qualify."
A tornado killed seven people in Harrisburg. Across the region, more than one-hundred homes were destroyed and hundreds more were severely damaged. FEMA uses a formula that takes into account the amount of damage and weighs it against the overall state population. Southern Illinois came up short in that equation. Durbin says he and fellow Senator Mark Kirk will appeal FEMA's decision. But the last time he tried such an appeal it was unsuccessful.
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