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$45 million in aid set for tornado-ravaged communities

Gov. Pat Quinn announced a $45 million state relief package Wednesday to help local governments recover from tornadoes that ravaged central and southern Illinois last November. The announcement came after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied an appeal from the state for federal disaster assistance.

The funds will contribute to recovery efforts in municipalities including Washington, Brookport, Gifford, New Minden, Diamond, Coal City and East Peoria, according to a release from Quinn’s office.

All local governments in Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermillion, Washington, Wayne and Woodford counties will be eligible for assistance, according to the release.

“Our tornado-ravaged communities need help and they need it now,” Quinn said in the release. “While it’s disappointing our request for federal disaster relief was denied due to outdated rules, the state of Illinois is committed to providing assistance to communities that need it.”

The relief package will make funds available from multiple state agencies, including:

  • Up to $19.1 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
  • Up to $10 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation to repair storm-damaged infrastructure.
  • Up to $4.5 million in below-market rate loans from the Illinois Finance Authority to finance repairs to publically owned and operated facilities.
  • Up to $3.55 million from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to help pay for costs already incurred for debris removal, emergency protective measures and overtime payments.
  • Up to $2.5 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority to assist with rehabilitation of low-income households.
  • Up to $5.35 million in low-interest loans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to repair damaged water systems.