The state is appealing FEMA's decision to deny public assistance money for November tornado recovery costs. FEMA denied the state's request last month, saying Illinois was more than 11-million-dollars short of the threshold to qualify for the public assistance. The appeal includes more than 21-million dollars in debris cleanup and other costs not included in the first submission, like sidewalks, gutters and curbs. Dawn Cook is the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency Director. She says they submitted about 85-percent of the total expenses in the state-wide appeal. But Cook says, even if public assistance is approved, local communities would first need to meet with the state Emergency Management Agency:
"The roadways, the gutters, the curbs, the driveway aprons, the sidewalks, we hadn't even taken into account that information in the first two weeks, because we were looking at debris. So I think we just have a better estimate on the range of destruction."
Cook says she hopes any federal reimbursement can also include some of each city's cost for the necessary debris removal from private property. She says a successful appeal can land the state up to 75-percent of eligible clean-up and security costs.
Support Your Public Radio Station