Officials are asking Lake County residents to report property damage they suffered during last week's wicked thunderstorm.
Local legislators issued a call Thursday for residents send the information to local and county officials in order to help obtain federal financial assistance and cover the damage cost of the July 11 storm, and the ensuing clean up.
"The recent storm caused widespread damage to residential homes and businesses throughout the area," said State Rep. JoAnn Osmond, an Antioch Republican. "State and local officials are doing everything we can to ensure Lake County receives all the disaster relief assistance we can obtain."
The storm packing winds of up to 70 mph knocked down trees and knocked out power to nearly 900,000 ComEd customers throughout the region. Some especially hart-hit areas of northern Lake County were without power for five days. Officials said the clean up from the storm is ongoing.
State officials said state disaster relief funds are not available for residents and municipalities to help cover the cost of the storm. However, each municipality affected have been instructed to send a damage assessment to Gov. Pat Quinn's office in order to potentially make a state disaster declaration.
If the total cost exceeds $16 million, officials said, Quinn can ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance to help cover the cost of damages and clean up.
The damage surveys must be completed before a determination can be made on whether Lake County qualifies for disaster relief assistance.
Federal money would help reimburse the state and local municipalities for cleanup costs associated with the storm. Once the threshold for public assistance is met, officials said, individual assistance to help private homes and businesses impacted by the storm may become available.
Municipal residents who wish to report damage can contact their village. Those living in the unincorporated areas should contact Lake County Emergency Management at (847) 377-7100.
"The public has been tremendously patient and helpful in the aftermath of the storm, reporting property damage and public safety concerns," noted State Rep. Sandy Cole, a Republican from Grayslake. "We ask the public for their continued help and cooperation as we work to assess the need for relief efforts."