By Christopher Brinckerhoff
Source: Des Plaines Patch
Two weeks after the storm that caused massive flooding along the Des Plaines River and elsewhere in the region, emergency management workers were focused on completing an overall damage assessment in order to make the case that federal disaster relief is needed. If a federal disaster is declared, funding would be made available to qualifying residents, and loans would be cheaper for businesses to rebuild.
Patricia Thompson, spokesperson for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said her agency was working in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies to complete the second phase of data collection, called the preliminary damage assessment, in 48 counties in Illinois. That work began on Monday in Des Plaines and other areas in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.
The water has begun to recede, an initial damage assessment has been done by local emergency management workers and flooding occurred in those three counties in heavily-populated areas, Thompson said.
“So it’s a good starting point for us; hopefully we’ll be able to document a lot of damage,” Thompson said.
Thompson said information collected by local officials helped state and federal agencies develop a plan to target the most severely damaged areas.
“They might not get to every single home that had damage, but what they really want to do is see the very worst of it because by reporting that, that strengthens our case for federal assistance,” Thompson said.
It was too early on Wednesday to determine whether a request to declare the flood a federal disaster would be made, but, Thompson said, if enough damage was documented before completing the assessment in all 48 counties, a request might be made, that could be added to later.
Read the rest of the story here.