If your home was affected during this most recent summer’s record flooding, you’re not gonna be too happy with FEMA. On Monday, they announced that they will not be helping any victims of flooding in the Chicago area.
Brock Long, an Administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, wrote a letter to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner explaining the agency’s reasoning for not helping with funding.
“Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies,” wrote Long.
Rauner had first asked for assistance on August 31st but the rejection was only delivered on Monday. The Trump Administration had already approved disaster relief in eleven counties in Wisconsin during flooding that occurred at the same time as the Illinois flooding.
According to the Chicago Tribune, 3,200 residencies were damaged in the flooding this summer and 244 of those suffering what’s considered “major damage.” The bulk of the damage experienced in Lake County.
While the FEMA rejection is not ideal, Rauner has some other ideas with regards to how to get funding. He is now appealing to the US Small Business Administration for low-interest loans to help victims in Cook, Lake, and McHenry counties.
Considering the devastating tragedies from hurricanes this summer (primarily in Houston and Puerto Rico) and the wildfires that have plagued California and the West, FEMA has had to handle disaster relief in a variety of areas. Officials could not say if this has impacted the decision to deny relief in Illinois. Illinois is not expected to repeal this denial.