Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation in Washington, Illinois Tuesday that ensures FEMA funds to cover last spring’s flooding. The state’s shared obligation for the FEMA relief is nearly $6 million.
Quinn used the bill signing as an opportunity to remind people affected by the devastating November tornadoes to sign up for FEMA assistance by the January 27th deadline. That was a chance for tornado victims to speak-out about impasses accessing assistance.
Tera Denham is the property manager of the heavily-damaged Georgetown Common Apartments with more than 200 units. She says many of their residents are being denied by FEMA because there is no official structural engineer’s report from the days immediately after the tornado.
“Whether it’s for personal property or whether it’s for housing assistance, things like that, because they can’t say we were denied access because we don't have that letter we can’t speak on behalf of what the city had done and obviously everyone saw that the city had the property in their name for the first nine days they’ve said that multiple times. They said that they had OSHA come in. What we didn't know is that it was volunteers,” Denham said.
Georgetown Common Apartments were some of the hardest hit with most of the residents being uninsured. City officials say the structural engineer volunteers went through the buildings initially to determine safety for first responders but no formal report was created.
Its estimated 2,500 homes were impacted by the November tornadoes. More than 2,100 individuals and households have received assistance so far.