Rauner seeks federal help in assessing flood damage
Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to join the state in conducting damage assessments in parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook counties that experienced record and near-record flooding last month, his office announced Thursday.
The request was submitted after initial damage assessments conducted by county officials documented nearly 300 homes that suffered major damage or were destroyed and more than 3,000 others affected by floodwaters.
"Many people in these counties are struggling to recover from this flood, and we want to do everything possible to help them," Rauner said in the announcement. "These damage assessments will provide a clearer picture, not only of the damage, but also of what people need in order to fully recover from this disaster."
Personnel from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damage to homes and businesses Friday morning. The assessments will continue through the weekend until complete.
IEMA also is working with municipalities, counties and other governmental bodies in the four counties to document their flood-related costs. That will help determine whether the state could meet the threshold of $18.3 million for federal assistance that could help government agencies receive reimbursement for some of those expenses.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated for two weeks to support flood fighting efforts in the four counties, along with subsequent flooding in the northwestern part of the state.