President Preckwinkle Issues Disaster Proclamation for January Storm
Friday, Feb 28, 2020 - 08:45
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle issued a County disaster proclamation this week in response to a January 10-11, 2020 winter storm that produced high winds and large waves causing significant lakefront damage. The state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have also issued disaster declarations.
Issuing disaster declarations at the state and local level is the first step in making an area eligible for a federally declared disaster which is issued by the U.S. president. Should portions of Illinois including Cook County be included in a federal disaster declaration, municipalities affected by the January storm would be eligible to be compensated for uninsured costs related to the storm, such as repairing infrastructure.
"The devastating effects of climate change are ravaging our Lake Michigan shoreline," President Toni Preckwinkle said. "This declaration is critical to our ability to access funds to mitigate the damage our shoreline and communities are sustaining. Cook County is taking all necessary steps to best position its municipalities for potential Federal disaster recovery funds.”
“Communities on the Cook County lakefront suffered significant damage as a result of the storm in January,” said William Barnes, executive director of the County’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS). “We have worked closely with our municipal, state and federal partners to assess damage in order to obtain any and all federal disaster assistance.”
EMRS has worked closely with affected municipalities to assess damage to shoreline, beaches, infrastructure and recreational areas. Shoreline municipalities have completed an initial damage assessment and continue to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify damages that meet or exceed the $19.9 million threshold necessary to receive federal disaster recovery funds.