After a meeting to discuss the recent denial of federal assistance to five counties in Southern Illinois, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation said that they pressed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, Craig Fugate, on the importance of federal disaster aid to the residents and businesses impacted by severe storms and tornadoes earlier this month. Delegation members also pressed FEMA for a quick decision on the state's appeal which will likely be filed in a few days.
The meeting was held in U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)’s Washington office with representatives from U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)’s office and representatives from the office’s of U.S. Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL) and Tim Johnson (R-IL). The Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Jonathon Monken, also joined the meeting by phone.
“The damage in Harrisburg, Ridgway and the surrounding communities was some of the worst I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe that the federal government initially denied Illinois’ request for aid, but I am encouraged by today’s meeting with Administrator Fugate,” said Durbin.