Declaration would help people and businesses affected by summer storms with low-interest, long-term loans to help with recovery
SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ Governor Bruce Rauner submitted a request for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance to help people and businesses in Grundy and Iroquois counties recover from tornadoes, floods and severe storms that occurred in June and July. If approved, the SBA declaration would enable affected people and businesses in Grundy and Iroquois counties, as well as counties contiguous to both, to apply for low-interest, long-term loans.
The request comes after assessments of damages to homes and businesses were conducted earlier this month in seven counties by teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the SBA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local officials to see if the state could qualify for federal assistance.
The assessments found a total of 297 homes in the seven counties were destroyed or sustained major damage from several storms over the six-week period. About 1,400 other homes sustained less severe damage during the same time period. A high percentage of the damaged homes had insurance.
Federal, state and local officials from 23 counties also met to gather documentation of storm-related expenses incurred by local governments to determine if the state and affected counties could meet federal thresholds for federal assistance. For the state that threshold, which is based on the stateâ€™s population of 12.8 million, is nearly $18.1 million, while each county would need to meet a threshold of $3.56 times the countyâ€™s population. Both thresholds must be met.
The total eligible costs from the 23 counties for several weather incidents during a six-week period totaled just over $15 million.
â€œWe left no stone unturned in our efforts to seek federal assistance for both people and local governments,â€ said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. â€œIf approved, the SBA assistance could be a tremendous help to many people who are working to repair or replace their homes or businesses.â€