Ill. residents await federal assistance after flooding

Published: Aug. 12, 2019 at 6:06 AM CDT
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) won’t be in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois on Monday, Aug. 12 as planned.

According to Mayor Joe Aden, East Cape will notify Heartland News when they will be coming.

The village took to social media to announce they are waiting on Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) for the removal of sandbags.

Village officials invited IEMA to be part of their village board meeting on Tuesday. Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Pit Stop.

The State of Illinois received an extension for submitting a request to the federal government for a major disaster declaration.

The original deadline for such submission was Aug. 2, but now has until Sept. 3 to request federal assistance.

Representatives from FEMA won’t be in East Cape Girardeau, Ill. on Monday, Aug. 12 as planned. According to Mayor Joe Aden, East Cape will notify Heartland News when they will be coming.

Village Trustee Jason Tubbs says homeowners and businesses are just beginning to assess the damage after waiting weeks for floodwaters to recede.

Tubbs said the extension will allow them to paint an accurate picture of how the flooding impacted their town.

“There is no second guessing things. We have time now to really clarify what our damage is to our public infrastructure as well as to our homes,” Tubbs said. “We have property owners that are going to be out thousands and thousands of dollars, as well as renters. Renters that have been displaced that are now trying to come home, some of them that have been permanently displaced that aren’t coming home.”

The Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau is expected to drop to 32 feet sometime the weekend of Aug. 3-4.

“In some parts of the state, floodwaters remain an impediment not only to residents but also emergency managers and first responders,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “We are just beginning our joint damage assessments with FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration and need more time to thoroughly review the information in order to better define the true impact of the event.”

Damages and costs incurred between February 24 and July 3 will be considered eligible for reimbursement if the requirements under the Stafford Act are met.

“Illinois had not seen flooding of this duration in nearly a century. The damage to homes and businesses was widespread in Stephenson, Winnebago, Jackson, and Monroe Counties,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “I applaud Governor Pritzker for his efforts to help our state recover and rebuild. I will do everything I can in Congress to assist him.”

Governor JB Pritzker formally requested an extension from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the state to request a federal disaster declaration from the flooding and storms.

He requested a 30-day extension to submit the necessary documentation supporting a request for a federal disaster declaration.

In the request, the governor said that flood fighting, dewatering activities and emergency protective measures are still ongoing in some areas of the state. As well as areas that are still inaccessible to residents.

The entire Illinois Congressional Delegation send a letter to FEMA Acting Administrator Peter Gaynor supporting Gov. Pritzker’s request.

“Given the duration of the flood and the damage it has inflicted upon homes and businesses, it is of the utmost importance that the State of Illinois submits an accurate Preliminary Damage Assessment from county-compiled information. However, certain areas in the State still have standing water and closed roads, and are currently unable to determine the damage caused until the floodwater dissipates. Further, given the extent of the flood, not all of the affected counties have the resources, knowledge, or dedicated staff to assess the damage within the allotted timeframe.”

You can click here to read the entire letter.

On Monday, July 29, the governor’s office said Damage Assessment Teams from FEMA, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be on-site in northern and north-central Illinois reviewing damage to roads, levees and other damages to homes and businesses. With this extension, they say there will be more time for the water to recede, safely allowing teams to review the damage in the southern part of the state.

Joint damage assessments will take place in the following counties: LaSalle, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, Mercer, Henderson, Knox, Henry, Pike, Morgan, Woodford, Calhoun, Madison, Monroe, Bureau, Hancock, Adams, Peoria, Fulton, Schuyler, Cass, Scott, Tazewell, Greene, Jersey, St. Clair, Randolph, Jackson, Union, Stephenson, Winnebago and Alexander Counties. Due to the extensive geographic region and on-going flood fight impeding key transportation thoroughfares, this process is expected to last several weeks.

The process is expected to last several weeks.

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