Courtesy Pietro Scalera

Governor Pat Quinn today asked President Barack Obama to declare 11 Illinois counties, including Cook County, major disaster areas following the storms and heavy rainfall that moved through the state in mid-April. If the governor’s request is approved, residents in those counties will be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest federal loans to help recover from the historic flooding.

“We must do everything possible to help families impacted by this historic flooding as they rebuild their lives,” Governor Quinn said. “Today we are making a strong case to President Obama to help expedite the review and approval process so the people of Illinois can soon receive the federal help they need.”

Governor Quinn also plans to seek federal assistance to help local governments, including Riverside, recoup 75 percent of their eligible flood-related costs. IEMA and FEMA currently are meeting with local government officials to document expenses incurred for emergency protective measures, debris removal and repair or replacement of roads, bridges and other public facilities.

The process to request public assistance began May 6 when five teams began meeting with local officials, and will continue through the end of May. Members of the IEMA met with Riverside Village Manager Peter Scalera and Fire Chief Spencer Kimura twice in the last week to review residential and public damage. The Village has been working with residents to provide the damage information necessary to support the Governor’s request.

Riverside Village President Ben Sells thanked the Governor for his actions. “Riverside and many of our surrounding communities were heavily impacted by the record flooding. We appreciate the Governor’s quick action and will continue working with our federal, state, and county partners to expedite the assistance needed by our residents and our Village as we recover from the damage caused by the flood.”