Flood damage review underway in Illinois

<p class="p1">The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, was expected to begin assisting with damage assessments in nearly two dozen Illinois counties which were devastated by record and near-record flooding and severe storms in late December and early January. </p><p class="p1">FEMA's role in the damage assessment was announced Jan. 28 by the governor's office in Springfield.</p><p class="p1">“We want to do everything possible to help people and communities affected by this devastating flooding and the severe storms that preceded it,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said in a news release. </p><p class="p1">“These damage assessments will provide us with greater detail as to the impact of these storms and could be used to support a request for federal assistance if the results indicate we meet federal requirements.”</p><p class="p1"> Personnel from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, IEMA,  the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA, and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damage to homes and businesses in Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Iroquois, Jersey, Madison, Randolph, Sangamon and St. Clair counties on Feb. 4.</p><p class="p1">Union County officials previously had reported that no local homes sustained damage as a result of flooding.</p><p class="p1">Costs were incurred with the moving of large quantities of grain from storage sites in the river bottomlands to higher ground.</p><p class="p1">FEMA also will work with state and local officials on assessments of storm-related costs incurred by local governments in Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Marion, Mason, Menard, Monroe, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair and Vermilion counties. Those assessments are expected to begin on Feb. 1.</p><p class="p1">Rauner added Bureau and Mason counties to the state declaration for the disaster after local governments in those counties submitted information about their storm and flood-related expenses. </p><p class="p1">Twenty-three counties previously were declared state disaster areas for this event.</p><p class="p1">The state provided assistance to many of the affected communities, including more than 1 million sandbags, 10,515 tons of rock, 4,546 tons of sand, 732 rolls of plastic, 8,600 hours by inmates filling and placing sandbags, 133,000 sandbags filled by inmates and more.  </p><p class="p1">The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated on Dec. 28 to coordinate deployments of personnel and resources to help communities battle floodwaters.</p>

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