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updated: 4/22/2013 6:21 PM

Storm cleanup to cost millions in DuPage

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  • Ashley and Victor Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters Monday at Four Lakes subdivision in Lisle. The Atallas were forced to park in a low-lying area after the raised parking lot at the Towers at Four Lakes affiliated with their apartment building was full.

       Ashley and Victor Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters Monday at Four Lakes subdivision in Lisle. The Atallas were forced to park in a low-lying area after the raised parking lot at the Towers at Four Lakes affiliated with their apartment building was full.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Victor and Ashley Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters at Four Lakes in Lisle.

       Victor and Ashley Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters at Four Lakes in Lisle.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Ashley and Victor Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters at Four Lakes in Lisle.

       Ashley and Victor Atalla push the second of their two cars out of floodwaters at Four Lakes in Lisle.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

DuPage County officials won't know until Wednesday how much it's going to cost to repair damage caused by last week's floods.

But they're confident the tally will surpass the $3.16 million threshold DuPage needs to qualify for federal assistance. Illinois also is expected to meet its threshold of $17.6 million.

If both things happen, municipalities, townships and other governmental entities in DuPage won't get stuck with the tab for their cleanup efforts and uninsured losses.

"That is just for public assistance, which is the assistance to taxing entities," said David Gervino, emergency management coordinator for DuPage Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "It has nothing to do with assistance to homeowners."

When it comes to determining which individual homeowners qualify for federal assistance, work will start next week when a preliminary damage assessment team visits DuPage's flood-ravaged communities.

In the meantime, officials in many communities, including Lisle, Lombard and Warrenville, said Monday they were busy cleaning up while the floodwaters continued to recede.

"The most telling aspect of this right now is driving around town and seeing all the piles of rolled up carpeting and carpet padding sitting out by the curb," Warrenville Mayor David Brummel said. "There were a lot of folks who got flooded basements -- more than usual."

Bill Ware, Lombard's acting village president, said there still were a couple flooded areas in the village. And village employees were doing their best to help residents.

"We have public works guys working as hard as they can to help everybody," Ware said. "The fire department is still helping everybody."

County officials say river elevations have been decreasing since Friday and water that was stored in the Wood Dale-Itasca Reservoir was being pumped out. As a result, they said they don't expect Tuesday's predicted rain to cause additional problems.

"The way the waters have gone over the weekend and what we anticipate to gain," said Norm Sturm, the director of DuPage County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, "I don't anticipate that's going to have an effect on us."

Among the areas still dealing with flooding Monday was the Towers at Four Lakes near Lisle. A building at the residential complex, which is west Route 53, was evacuated Thursday after floodwater rushed into the underground parking structure and filled the lobby.

Sturm said it's unknown when displaced Four Lakes residents will be able to return. "I've heard everything from a week to a month," he said.

Lisle Mayor Joe Broda said he's optimistic about the possibility of the building reopening sooner rather than later. "Things are improving much faster than anticipated," he said.

As for Lisle houses once surrounded by floodwater, most of that water is gone. "They may still have water in their basements," Broda said.

He said village building inspectors were busy trying to visit more than 100 houses damaged during the flood. Structures must be inspected before the homeowners can return to clean up and begin repairs.

"We still have a lot of major work with the inspections," Broda said. "That takes time because we only have so many (inspectors). It's going to be a while before we really get back to normal."

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