Communities throughout DuPage County will have to wait a little longer to find out if they're going to be reimbursed by the federal government for costs related to last week's floods.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday extended a deadline for municipalities, townships, park districts and other governmental entities to submit expense forms to the county's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for costs related to the massive flood cleanup.
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Those forms originally were due Wednesday, but agencies now have until May 1 to submit their requests to the county.
Wednesday also was the deadline for individual homeowners to submit forms to cover their uninsured losses as a result of the floods.
A preliminary damage assessment team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, IEMA and the county will survey damage in the hardest-hit areas starting Monday.
At that point, they could declare that individuals are eligible for public assistance, according to David Gervino, emergency management coordinator for the county's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
"They may see enough damage after going to just a handful of communities where they don't have to visit all of them," Gervino said.
The following Monday, federal, state and county officials will meet again to determine if municipalities and governmental agencies will receive assistance to cover their flood costs.
Government agencies could be eligible for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of expenses for employee overtime and costs of equipment such as boats, public works vehicles, fire trucks and police cars.
The county must surpass a $3.16 million threshold in total flood damage costs -- and the state must surpass $17.6 million -- for municipalities to qualify for federal funds. Gervino said he's confident that will occur.
If a disaster declaration is made, it could be another couple weeks until federal officials begin sending money to individual towns, Gervino said.
The last time the federal government provided disaster relief to towns in DuPage County followed the blizzard of February 2011.
Individual homeowners were eligible for assistance following the floods of July 2010.
"If and when we receive a presidential declaration, it could be individuals, public or both," Gervino said.
Meanwhile, residents cannot apply for individual relief through FEMA until a disaster declaration is issued, he said.