Douglas Co. EMA Director Shocked FEMA Won't Help Southern Illinois

Published 03/12 2012 09:58PM

Updated 03/12 2012 10:30PM

DOUGLAS CO. - FEMA's decision to not help Illinois' tornado ravaged counties isn't only upsetting politicians. EMA directors across the state are worried it could happen to them, too. Many of the counties affected in last month's tornados are either the same size geographically or population wise to those in central Illinois, Douglas County being one of them. We caught up today with its EMA director, Joe Victor. He was shocked to hear FEMA isn't helping the five southern Illinois counties that requested aid.

            One of the hardest hit towns down there was Harrisburg. Seven people were killed there and more than 300 homes destroyed. Victor says the cleanup process there will take a minimum of six months, and not getting any money from FEMA will only make it last longer.      

"The rebuilding process is going to be considerably slowed down. There may be businesses that may be nonexistent when this is all said and done, there may be homes not being able to be rebuilt," said Victor.

            Victor says FEMA aid is important because the loans are typically no interest or low interest.  He says Harrisburg is especially in need since it dealt with a severe flood only a year ago.

Senator's Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin plan to appeal FEMA's decision. They're calling for a meeting between the agency's administrator and Illinois congress members.

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