NAPLATE, Ill. - It's been two weeks since a damaging tornado touched down in Naplate and now residents are preparing to fix up their community all on their own, with no help from the state or federal government, WMBD-TV reports.
"It's very tough. We got some large bills that will be coming in. It's really going to put a burden on us," said Naplate mayor James Rick.
Tuesday night Naplate residents learned they won't receive state or federal financial assistance to help with tornado damage.
"Oh my God.Oh my God. You know, the city has to eat all this. The city can't recoup from this. We're a village of 600 people," said resident Lorie McConnaughhay.
In order to receive government funding the mayor of a municipality has to declare the area a disaster zone.
"That goes up to the County Board chairman, who, in turn, does the same. And that goes on to the State of Illinois to look at and review," Rick said.
The state looks to see if the damage amounts to around $18.3 million, not including insured private property; a threshold Naplate didn't reach.
"If you drive down Center Street, in Naplate, for a seven block area, it reminds you of what you see on TV; a war zone where a bomb went off," Rick said.
Despite the lack of funding the town is optimistic for the future. Rick hopes in two years Naplate will be back to normal.
"Don't challenge us to something, because we'll do it. And I think, we know we have a challenge now, and they're ready to roll their sleeves up and put your gloves back on and go after it," he said.
Naplate village leaders haven't given up hope just yet. They've reached out to local representatives about other funding options.