Illinois' U.S. Senators are backing federal legislation they say would bring consistency and fairness to how communities hit by natural disasters are chosen for federal relief. The Fairness Federal Disaster Declarations Act comes after Harrisburg and other southern Illinois communities were denied federal aid after being devastated by tornadoes on February 29th.
Federal and state organizations have approved Henry County Tennessee Schools for grants to retrofit three buildings to be tornado safe spaces. Schools board officials will meet this summer with County Mayor Brent Greer and architects to discuss the $3.75 million project. Director of County Schools Sam Miles estimates the county’s contribution will be about 4-hundred thousand dollars. Miles says construction will start next summer.
Harrisburg and other southern Illinois communities affected by a deadly tornado in February are getting up to $13 million in state and Small Business Administration aid. Governor Pat Quinn's office announced yesterday the help includes reimbursements to local governments for some of their disaster-related expenses and road improvements.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg says he doesn't understand what criteria the Federal Emergency Management Agency used to deny disaster aid to southern Illinois counties ravaged by tornadoes. Gregg says his community needs the federal assistance and he hopes President Barack Obama comes to southern Illinois to see the devastation himself. Seven Harrisburg residents died after a powerful tornado hit Feb. 29. Gregg says he plans to mMayor ove quickly to get FEMA's decision appealed. He says that's only fair to the families hurt by the storm.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has asked federal emergency officials for recovery help after Wednesday’s deadly tornado struck Harrisburg. Quinn says he asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with damage assessments. Those assessments begin Monday and will provide documentation needed to support requests for federal assistance. The assessments are expected by the end of next week. They will include Massac, Saline and Union counties. Quinn already has issued a state disaster proclamation for southern Illinois.