Quinn: FEMA denies Illinois appeal for assistance

March 21, 2012 7:10:19 PM PDT
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied the state's appeal for assistance after a deadly tornado and severe storms.

Quinn said in a Wednesday news release that he is disappointed with the decision and doesn't believe "it reflects the reality and devastation on the ground." Hundreds of homes in five southern Illinois counties were damaged or destroyed by the Feb. 29 storms that killed seven people in Harrisburg, a town of 9,000 in Saline County.

But FEMA concluded homeowners' insurance, local charities and state funds could cover those costs. Quinn appealed to the Department of Homeland Security days after FEMA turned down the aid request. FEMA later gave the state more time to make a better case for the taxpayer assistance.

The people of Sauk Village, however, are lending a hand. They've donated a trailer full of cleaning supplies and toiletries that will be delivered Thursday.

"I've had first hand experience with being in areas that are affected like that," said Deputy Chief Richard Atwood, Sauk Village Fire Department. "And this is our own state you know, we've got to take care of our own."

Atwood and two other firefighters will deliver the items to Harrisburg.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.