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updated: 6/19/2013 4:43 AM

Flood relief funds pour into Kane County

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  • Paul Gogo of South Elgin returns for another sandbag after flooding two months ago on the Fox River in South Elgin. "This is just brutal, it's never been like this" said Gogo, who had been up since the middle of the night April 18 working to protect his home on South River Street.

       Paul Gogo of South Elgin returns for another sandbag after flooding two months ago on the Fox River in South Elgin. "This is just brutal, it's never been like this" said Gogo, who had been up since the middle of the night April 18 working to protect his home on South River Street.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Carrie Wolotowsky of South Elgin wades across a flooded East Spring Street to get to her vehicle during April flooding on the Fox River in South Elgin.

       Carrie Wolotowsky of South Elgin wades across a flooded East Spring Street to get to her vehicle during April flooding on the Fox River in South Elgin.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Volunteer sandbaggers Chris Schmedes of Geneva takes a bag from Brad Umholtz of South Elgin as they try to stop the Fox River from flooding the Herrington Inn April 18 in Geneva. Herrington owner Paul Ruby put out the call for help early and people came by the dozens to help out.

       Volunteer sandbaggers Chris Schmedes of Geneva takes a bag from Brad Umholtz of South Elgin as they try to stop the Fox River from flooding the Herrington Inn April 18 in Geneva. Herrington owner Paul Ruby put out the call for help early and people came by the dozens to help out.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Water invades Seba Park after April flooding on the Fox River in South Elgin.

       Water invades Seba Park after April flooding on the Fox River in South Elgin.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

April flooding racked up an estimated $3 million of damage in Kane County, but disaster assistance applications have resulted in the return of about one-third of that money so far.

County officials estimated about 900 properties along the Fox River and its tributaries incurred damage from excessive April rain. Both federal and state officials declared the county an official disaster area, triggering the availability of relief funds from both levels of government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency set up a disaster assistance location in Aurora, where much of the flood damage occurred, and hired 78 temporary, full-time workers to evaluate damage and process applications for flood relief funds.

Don Bryant, director of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management, said 960 families have registered for flood assistance. More than 250 families have already received checks that, together, total about $919,000. Bryant said the limit any one family can receive is about $30,000.

"We're probably pretty close to having everyone who was eligible registered for FEMA funds," Bryant said.

That doesn't mean every applicant will receive as much money as he feels he deserves, Bryant said.

"Basement flooding is not considered primary residential flooding," Bryant said. "Unless it impacts the utilities, a lot of the basement flooding may not be covered by FEMA assistance."

But the only way to find out is to apply. Applicants can call 1-800-621-FEMA or register online at www.disasterassistance.gov. The deadline is July 9 to apply for federal flood relief stemming from damage incurred between April 6 and May 5.

A FEMA inspector will call and arrange a visit to the damaged property. The inspector will always display an official badge during the inspection. If the property is proven eligible for assistance, you will receive a check, or a direct deposit along with a letter explaining how the funds may be used.

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