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Durbin Confident FEMA Will Grant Relief For Tornado Damage

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Extensive damage after an EF-4 tornado hit Harrisburg, Ill. (Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)(Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

Extensive damage after an EF-4 tornado hit Harrisburg, Ill. (Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)(Credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) said Wednesday he’s confident that federal officials will reverse their denial of federal disaster relief funds to five tornado-ravaged counties in southern Illinois.

Durbin said that Federal Emergency Management Agency director Craig Fugate is allowing Illinois to revise its disaster application after last month’s tornados.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

FEMA had ruled that money from insurance, charities and state emergency aid could cover costs from the storm that killed seven people in Harrisburg.

A successful appeal could mean millions of dollars in federal aid for towns like Harrisburg and Ridgeway.

The senator spoke with Fugate and several Illinois lawmakers by phone on Wednesday and later said, “I’m confident when the revised appeal is complete, residents and businesses will have the assistance they need to recover and rebuild.”

Durbin said state and federal officials arrived on the scene just five days after the tornado hit, and before assessment teams had time to fully record the damage.

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