Biden Announces Federal Disaster Declaration for June 29 Derecho; More Counties Added to Drought Federal Disaster Area

By Benjamin Cox on August 17, 2023 at 5:11am

Likely the oldest and certainly largest catalpa trees in Jacksonville was uprooted and landed on a car in front of a residence on East College Avenue as a result of the June 29th derecho.

President Joe Biden has approved Governor J.B. Pritzker’s request for a federal disaster declaration to aid in recovery of the June 29th derecho.

Tuesday’s approval announced by Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin unlocks federal individual assistance that could include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover property and crop loss, as well as other programs.

More information about the presidential declaration is expected in a formal press conference this afternoon in Chicago.

On top of this federal declaration, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a disaster declaration for three more counties in the state affected by prolonged drought during this year’s growing season. Fulton, Mason, and Tazewell counties have been added making the contiguous counties of Cass, Menard, and Schuyler in the listening area also eligible for the same federal assistance.

Adams, Calhoun, and Pike had previously received declarations last month.

A Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. Those eligible should contact their local USDA Service Center to ask questions or file a Notice of Loss.