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Congressman fights for disaster relief funding after historic Christian County flood

Congressman fights for disaster relief funding after historic Christian County flood (WICS)

Two years ago, Kincaid and other areas in Christian County were devastated by historic flooding and the state was unable to obtain federal relief dollars to assist with the cleanup.

Congress is trying to lower the threshold that communities need to meet in order for the FEMA to come in and offer help for situations like this.

“It was right after Christmas in 2015 and into 2016 that this area including Kincaid right behind me was completely flooded,” Representative Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said.

Two years ago, historic floods left homes in Christian County under water. The rising waters also claimed the lives of four people.

“I will never forget the flood of 2015 where we lost four individuals from drowning here in Christian County and so many families lost their homes right here in these communities,” Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said.

Unfortunately, the area didn't meet FEMA’s $18 million thresholds to come in and provide disaster relief.

Since then, Davis has been working to change the guidelines.

“We wanted to continue to work together with our local officials, work together with our state officials and also work together in a bipartisan way in Washington to really address the underlying policies that need to be changed so that the next time a disaster hits, that we're going to be ready,” Davis said.

Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a disaster supplemental bill.

In it, there is relief for areas hit by the recent hurricanes and also reforms to FEMA’s disaster declaration process.

“My son graduated high school in 2016, he lost two of his classmates during the flood of 2015,” Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry said. “I just wanted to thank the Congressman for bringing federal dollars back to our area.”

“Maybe with this legislation, we can finally get this inequity corrected and future events won't be so devastating to the local governments,” Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Klinger said.

This bill still needs to pass the Senate.

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