Quinn appealing denial of flooding aid

October 21, 2010 (WESTCHESTER, Ill.)

Flooding this summer devastated several local communities, which then turned to the federal government for help. This is the second rejection after the July floods that damaged streets, bridges, schools, libraries and city vehicles and forced the boat rescues of stranded residents.

Governor Pat Quinn is appealing then federal government's decision.

Individual homes and individuals in the community were already approved for federal assistance.

The Westchester village president and other mayors from area communities are not taking no for an answer

"We are well over $2 million of the community that basically is under the bus because we are not going to receive dime one," said Sam Pulia, Westchester village president.

Public officials including several mayors of affected communities held a news conference in front of Westchester Village Hall Thursday, speaking out against FEMA and the process.

"I, along with the other mayors, don't understand the logic why we cannot receive even 75 percent. Give us something. We are hurting. Timing is terrible," said Frank Pasquale, mayor of Bellwood.

"The local municipalities cannot ignore all of the money that they have spent and be able to replace the police cars and the fire department of the equipment that they lost throughout this flood. Then the county will have the responsibility of coming in and protecting the citizens. We don't have that money," said Earlean Collins, 1st District Cook County Commissioner.

Even though some estimates say Cook County suffered $26 million in damage, FEMA says it did not. FEMA says Cook County did not even meet a $17.3 million damage "threshold" to qualify for federal assistance.

FEMA also says the Illinois Emergency Management Agency failed to make an official appeal. The IEMA says it did not file an appeal because they thought that they didn't have a chance to win it. Now that appeal opportunity has come and gone.

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