Governor Quinn Launches Flood Damage Assessments in Chicago

Teams Begin Documenting Damage in Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties; Data Will Support Request for Federal Assistance

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–April 29, 2013.  Governor Pat Quinn today joined local, state and federal officials as critical flood damage assessments began in Chicago. Data collected during the assessments will be included in a request by Governor Quinn for federal assistance that, if approved, could provide grants and low-interest loans to people affected by flooding as well as low-interest loans for flood-impacted businesses.

“These teams will collect information that is critical for our request for federal assistance to help people and businesses recover from this devastating flood,” Governor Quinn said. “As people continue to rebuild their lives after this widespread disaster, this support will help them.”

Teams comprising personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local officials began assessing flood-damaged homes in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties on Monday. They will continue damage assessments in other counties impacted by flooding as waters recede.

Next week, FEMA and IEMA personnel will begin meeting with local government officials in flooded communities to document their flood-related costs. That information will support a request from Governor Quinn for federal assistance, which would enable state and local government to receive up to 75 percent reimbursement for those expenses.

Since the flooding began, Governor Quinn has surveyed damage on the ground and from the air and has met with local officials in some of the hardest hit communities, including Elmhurst, Des Plaines, River Forest, Bellwood, Riverside, Moline, Quincy, Bartonville, North Aurora, Marseilles, Ottawa, North Utica, Morris, Meredosia and Peoria.

Governor Quinn has declared 48 counties state disaster areas, including Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford counties.

The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. State assistance to date includes:

Department of Transportation

  • More than 260 IDOT personnel and 260 trucks and other equipment have been deployed to deliver sandbags, plastic, pumps, hoses, trucks and drivers to communities for flood fighting efforts and debris removal.
  • Conducting flyovers of flooded areas for situational awareness.
  • Providing guidance to communities on pumping equipment needs.
  • Assisting local officials on road elevation on Illinois 100 near Hardin.

Department of Corrections

  • More than 1,080 inmates have assisted with sandbagging efforts in several communities.
  • More than 2,600 inmates inside correctional facilities have worked around the clock to fill nearly 320,000 sandbags since Friday, April 19.

Department of Natural Resources

  • DNR boats and conservation police officers have assisted with home and medical evacuations, transportation, river rescues, missing person searches and other flood-related responses.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency

  • Provided 40 StarCom radios to the Algonquin Police Department for emergency communications.
  • Deployed liaison teams to coordinate response efforts along the Mississippi River.
  • Coordinating requests for assistance from affected counties with state resources.
  • Contacting more than 700 radioactive materials licensees to ensure safety of those materials during flooding.

Illinois National Guard

  • UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and two crew members assisted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with overflight of the Des Plaines and Little Calumet Rivers to survey integrity of flood control systems and infrastructure.

Illinois State Police

  • Continue to assist motorists and local public safety agencies with flood-related issues.

Department of Public Health

  • Provided information on tetanus shots to local public health departments, hospitals and medical offices.
  • Monitoring situations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities affected by flooding.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

  • Following up on more than 550 reports of flood impacts to sewer systems and waste water treatment systems and more than 20 reports of impacts to drinking water supplies.
  • Advising communities on appropriate procedures for flood debris and sandbag disposal.

Department of Central Management Services

  • Procured work gloves and ponchos for inmate crews assisting with sandbagging.
  • Supplied IDNR with trailer from surplus for temporary office at Starved Rock.
  • Procured snow fencing to protect Swan Lake Drainage District levee.

Governor Quinn activated the State Incident Response Center on Thursday, April 18 to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas. The state’s flood response is coordinated by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Source: illinois.gov