FEMA has denied Illinois' appeal for public assistance with recovery from the November 17th tornadoes.That leaves one hard-hit community with a monster clean-up bill. Officials in the Central Illinois town of Washington say total recovery will cost the local government some $26 million. The EF4 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes, forcing the city to do an enormous amount of debris removal. Washington Mayor Gary Manier says the city is exploring every option to pay for that:
"I've said from day one I'm not going to bankrupt this community because of this storm, and we're not going to. If we have to end up borrowing the whole amount, we'll get a low-interest loan and we'll pay our bills just like we always have."
FEMA says Illinois' damage assessments weren't enough to qualify for federal reimbursement. Mayor Manier (muh-NEER) says the federal guidelines used to calculate damage are broken. Congress is already considering legislation to change the FEMA disaster formula.
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