Blagojevich declares Rockford and Winnebago County a state disaster
area following Labor Day flooding
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[SEPT. 7, 2006]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Thursday, Gov. Rod R.
Blagojevich declared Rockford and Winnebago County a state disaster
area after severe flooding on Labor Day. The governor also said the
state will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure
the area recovers from this event as quickly as possible.
"Nearly 160 homes, businesses and other buildings in the Rockford
area were severely damaged by Monday's sudden flooding," Blagojevich
said. "Many families were forced from their homes and may not be
able to return for quite some time. We're committed to helping the
Rockford area recover from this storm as quickly as possible."
Tuesday, Blagojevich offered the state's assistance to Rockford
Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey and Winnebago County Board Chairman
Scott Christiansen. A team from the Illinois Emergency Management
Agency has been in the area since Tuesday, working with local
officials to assess the damage and determine what assistance is
needed in the area.
With the state disaster proclamation, state assistance could help
local governments with extraordinary costs incurred in responding to
and recovering from the damage. That assistance also could include
state assets, such as equipment and work crews, to help with debris
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Blagojevich said the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is
contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct a
federal damage assessment to help the state determine if the area
would qualify for a federal disaster declaration, which could make
available grants or low-interest loans for individuals and business
and reimbursement to local governments for extraordinary expenses. A
federal disaster declaration is issued when recovery from a disaster
is beyond the capabilities of the local and state governments.
[News release from the governor's