Local communities applying for FEMA public assistance

Dec 16, 2013

The deadline for communities affected by last month’s devastating weather to submit for federal public assistance is Tuesday. The Tazewell County Board and the Washington, Pekin and East Peoria councils voted on declaring a local public disaster last week. Dawn Cook directs the Tazewell County Emergency Management Agency. She says a local declaration allows communities to ask for more federal assistance not included in original estimates:

 “The three things that we think are debris removal, cutting down of trees that have been affected and then roadways. The reason why maybe they were not considered eligible is the interpretation that FEMA gives it and the interpretation that we’re actually looking at which is real eligible costs based on further study of the documentation and of the guidelines,” Cook says.

 Cook says the local declarations will help communities meet a federal guideline of nearly $18 million in damage recovery expenses to qualify for assistance. She says the local measures allow communities like Washington to expand the nature of the recovery expenses in their total costs.