Tornado Recovery: Quinn Visits Washington
Updated: Thursday, January 2 2014, 11:45 AM CST
Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn stopped in Washington, one of the local areas hardest hit in the November 17 tornadoes.
Some folks there are growing frustrated with the recovery process. The governor is trying to offer some reassurance to them. His office says more than $1 million in federal grants and more than $5 million in low-interest loans have been approved. Thousands have applied for that assistance following the November twisters.
"We're going to be talking as long as it's necessary; the way I look at the world. You know, this is a tough blow for everyone to lose your home and to lose your possessions. This is very, very important that we recover from this traumatic event," Quinn said to the audience.
While he was there, Quinn also signed into law a bill that allows the matching of state to federal dollars for victims who lost property in flooding earlier this year. The state's portion of that comes to nearly $6 million.
As soon as he opened the floor to questions, Quinn got hit with some big ones from tornado victims struggling to put their lives back together. They told the governor they weren't getting the help they really need and asked about people denied aid by FEMA.
"We do not have enough money. We are scraping pennies into piles for these families. We are--the safety nets that we all thought were in place aren't there. Red Cross wasn't the answer, insurance wasn't the answer, FEMA isn't the answer. We are back to our churches," community organizer April Crotts said.
Essentially, Quinn took notes from those victims, telling them his chief of staff will work with them on the specifics.
The deadline to apply for emergency assistance is January 27 if you'd still like to apply. It`s administered by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). You can apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). Registration also can be done online at www.disasterassistance.gov or m.fema.gov.