DuPage, Cook, Will counties to receive federal aid after President Obama signs disaster declaration

Federal aid is coming to DuPage, Cook and Will county residents affected by last month's floods.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration, providing relief funds to 11 counties throughout Illinois afflicted by flash floods, storms and extreme winds.

Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will county residents can begin the federal relief application process Saturday.

Homeowners can apply for financial assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been conducting damage assessment surveys throughout Illinois and more assistance could be made available in the coming weeks.

President Obama's decision comes on the heels of weeks of lobbying from Gov. Pat Quinn and several state representatives.

In a May 9 letter addressed to Obama, state representatives expressed that local funds are not an adequate means of addressing the damaged homes and public infrastructure.

"It is clear from the magnitude of the damage that recovery efforts will be beyond means of state and local budgets," the letter said. "A major disaster declaration will make critical federal assistance available to help our communities to rebuild and recover."

Federal aid could include grant money and loans to fund repairs, property losses and temporary housing.