Flood victims continue life adjustments as FEMA assesses damaged homes

Homeowners deal with damage from flooding

McCLURE, Ill. (KFVS) - FEMA has started to assess damaged homes from the devastating flood Alexander County, Illinois faced for months.

The team are visiting homes and talking with homeowners in the McClure area on Saturday where they assess the exterior of the home only at this time.

Homeowners we talk with say they welcome the damage assessment team to hopefully get some financial assistance later.

"I think it's a good sign in certain ways," Rachel Parker said. "It just depends on what they're going to do, when they're going to do it and how long it's going to take."

FEMA Spokesperson Jann Tracey said they are assessing more than 200 homes reported to have water damage in Alexander County through the time from February 24 through July 3.

Parker said she isn't focusing on help from from state or federal agencies right now as she has to make life adjustments after losing her home from the flood.

"We've had to pay rent for the first time in our lives. So that's kind of hard," Parker said. "Right now we are in the process of do we go back, do we put maybe a double wide there or do we find a new house and move on somewhere else."

Parker informed us her home is condemned after seep-water infiltrated their home and ruined their belongings. It's something she said will take some time to clean up.

"We have our house, we have two sheds full of things and there's just lots to clean up," Parker said. "It's really hard. You look at memories but it's just belongings. Our family is safe and that's all that's important."

Alexander County is one of 20 counties around the state the FEMA team will be assessing for storm damage from the four-plus month time period.

"What we found in many counties is that there is a lot of damage done where the foundation of the home is damaged, cracked and where the walls are damaged," Tracey said. "A lot of homes had so much water that the water damaged the drywall, the carpeting and those kind of things. The infrastructure, the mechanics of the home like the furnace, the air conditioner and the hot water heater and those kinds of things."

For Parker, she said the cleanup process from this devastating flood will take until the end of the year.

"Honestly, to get it all cleaned up, I would go into November and December," Parker mentioned. "There's lots there to clean. Once you get it cleaned out then you have to take structures down and things like that."

As for future financial assistance, Parker and other residents we spoke with say they aren't holding their breath.

“If it comes, it comes. If not, God will provide,” Parker said.

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