GRAFTON, IL – The government made it official Tuesday, no funds for flood victims in 22 Illinois counties.
The counties include Monroe, Madison, Jersey, and Randolph. Local officials indicated both the feds and the state were turning their backs on communities like Grafton. Donna Chiappa owns a business in Grafton, “All these businesses suffered a tremendous loss,” said Chiappa.
Scenes of Grafton battling flood waters this spring will long be remembered.
The flood all but shut down the town’s number one industry, tourism, for several months. Bradley Lutes opened a bait shop convenience store a year ago. Like other businesses he was hit hard, “I think it’s terrible I think it’s terrible I think they need to step up and help out some of these businesses,” said Lutes.
FEMA said there won’t be any economic aid for businesses or homeowners. Even though the agency is helping folks in Missouri counties right across the Mississippi River.
“We have a few businesses that are in precariously dire financial situations because of the devastating impact they incurred,” said Grafton Mayor Rick Eberlin.
Grafton is also fighting another money problem, the mayor says state officials told him to clean-up the Grafton flood mess at a cost of $300,000, that the state would reimburse the town. Now the mayor said state officials indicated that may not happen. $300,000 is almost half the town’s budget. Chiappa added, “We need disaster relief here and this flood was a disaster.”
The decisions are being appealed. The mayor is hopeful things will change for the better.