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Rep. Davis thanks Biden for FEMA flood funds

Representative Danny K. Davis

U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis (D-7th) Tuesday, August 15th, thanked U.S. President Joseph Biden for granting his request to declare the State of Illinois a federal disaster as a result of severe storms that produced heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes and straight-line winds. Several rounds of severe storms also caused sustained flooding from June 29th through July 2, 2023.

Davis made his remarks during a press conference held at his district office, 2813-25 W. Fifth Ave., where he was joined by State Representative Camille Y. Lilly (D-78th), State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-8th), Steve Robinson, executive director of the Northwest Austin Council and Rev. Paul Jakes, assistant to Davis.

When President Biden signed the proclamation establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument in Mississippi and Illinois on July 25, Rep. Davis pulled him aside and told him that Cook County and Illinois needed funding for the massive flood damage. “The President told me that ‘Illinois always gets money,’ but I told him, ‘I’m talking about FEMA money, flood money.’”

Asked if he were surprised that the FEMA money was approved so fast, Rep. Davis said, “I’m delighted because so often people have had bad experiences, and it is hard for some people to have confidence in government. The fact that this is taking place helps to boost and enhance in their minds that you can have confidence and these processes have to take place in order for things to happen.” He said the confidence is boosted and people can begin to call FEMA, and fill out the forms. I hope they have good experiences.”

Davis, Ford, and Lilly were excited when they got the news that President Biden carried out his promise to declare Illinois a federal disaster area.

It was a relief because Rep. Davis said he had been swamped with calls from his constituents complaining about their basements and properties being flooded. Several homeowners told the Chicago Crusader that the city allegedly took weeks before responding to their complaints about the flooding.

Robinson said it was he who called Rep. Davis and alerted him about the flooding. “Right away he responded and began touring the flooded areas especially Austin. “There are still people impacted by the flood.” Robinson said getting federal funding “is a sigh of relief” for the community.

An ecstatic Davis said, “Since this past June my office and my colleagues here have received many calls requesting assistance due to the awful storm which flooded many homes and damaged property.

“A few weeks ago, I spoke with the President personally and asked him for help. On Friday, we telephoned 30,000 people to let them know that all of us are working on securing funding to help them through the aftermath of the flood,” said Davis.

Reading a statement, Davis said, “Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Illinois and ordered Federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding from June 29 to July 2, 2023. I want to thank my friend, President Joe Biden, for keeping the hearts of the people close and taking action to provide solutions.”

Rep. Davis said the President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Cook County. He explained that assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

“Again, thank you President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, Governor Pritzker, the community, and all those who have organized to make this day possible,” said Rep. Davis.

Rep. Ford and Rep. Lilly warned residents to be aware of “scammers” who will take advantage of their situation knowing that federal funding is coming down the pipe soon. Ford said if they have any doubts about a potential contractor to call the Illinois Attorney General’s office at 312.814.3276.

Rep. Davis cited a FEMA release which said residents and business owners who suffered losses in the flood areas can apply for assistance at, or by calling 800.621.FEMA (3362), or download the FEMA App.

Statement from U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) 

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today applauded the Biden Administration for approving Governor JB Pritzker’s request for Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the State of Illinois, to support Cook County in recovering from severe storms in which localized rainfall totals reached eight inches, resulting in significant power outages and roadway interruptions from June 29 to July 2, 2023.  On August 7, Durbin and Duckworth led the Illinois delegation in sending a letter to President Biden requesting the federal assistance.

“Severe summer storms have become increasingly common, and the wreckage they leave behind is devastating for our state and its residents,” said Durbin.  “Thankfully, President Biden has recognized the severity of the situation and responded to our request.  Cook County residents will get the federal support they need to rebuild their community.”

“I’m grateful President Biden heeded our ask and approved Governor Pritzker’s request for a federal disaster declaration to help Cook County receive the funding and support needed to recover from the aftermath of severe storms this summer,” said Duckworth. “I’ll continue working with Senator Durbin, Illinois’s Congressional delegation and local officials to help ensure this federal aid is distributed quickly and equitably to all communities and businesses impacted.” 

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