Gov. Rauner adds 11 more counties to IL state disaster proclamat - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Gov. Rauner adds 11 more counties to IL state disaster proclamation

On Wednesday, Dec. 30, Gov. Rauner added Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas and Morgan counties to the list. On Wednesday, Dec. 30, Gov. Rauner added Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas and Morgan counties to the list.
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(KFVS) -

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner added 11 more counties Tuesday to a state disaster proclamation to help communities respond and recover from flooding.

Those counties include Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Lawrence, Marion, Menard, Moultrie, Pike, Richland, Sangamon and Vermilion. 

Last week, Gov. Rauner declared Alexander, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Randolph and St. Clair counties as state disaster areas. 

That brings the total number of declared counties to 23.

Voluntary evacuations have been lifted in East Cape Girardeau, McClure and Olive Branch.

Local emergency management agencies are beginning to collect damage information from affected people and units of local government.

That information will be forwarded to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, where it will be reviewed to develop a picture of the overall impact on people and local governments.

If the initial damage information shows losses that may meet thresholds for a federal disaster declaration, the state could request that the Federal Emergency Management Agency join state and local officials for a more thorough assessment of the damage. 

If it appears the state meets the federal assistance criteria, the governor could request a major disaster declaration from President Barack Obama.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, called on President Obama and FEMA to declare a disaster for 14 counties in southern Illinois that are being threatened by rising water levels:

"Peoples’ lives are at risk and we need to activate any and all resources to help limit the damage and ensure the public’s safety," Phelps said. "Whether it’s a home, livestock or a business, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to protect residents’ livelihoods from these dangerous flood waters."

Phelps said the president has the ability to provide more resources to help prevent more damage to those areas that are already flooded.

"We need to be proactive in our efforts, not reactive," Phelps said. "Declaring a disaster will give our local and state officials more means to combat the rising water levels and hopefully prevent any further damage.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon requested a federal emergency declaration last week. 

President Barack Obama ordered federal aid to help both state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. The president's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

There are two separate federal assistance programs available.

  • The Individual Assistance program offers grants and low-interest loans to people affected by disasters.
    • There is no defined damage amount for Individual Assistance, the state’s past experience with requests for federal assistance shows that it takes hundreds of homes with severe damage to qualify for the program.
  • The Public Assistance program provides reimbursement up to 75 percent of eligible costs incurred by local governments as they dealt with the disaster and subsequent recovery.
    • The Public Assistance program does have a population-based threshold, which for Illinois is $18.1 million statewide. Once the state meets the statewide threshold, individual counties would also have to meet a threshold of $3.56 times the county’s population.

IEMA's director estimates it will take a few weeks to gather the initial damage assessment information from local emergency officials since many places are still dealing with flooding.

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