FEMA Surveying Flood Damage

Eleven counties, including Cook, declared disaster areas after last month's flooding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are touring Cook and DuPage counties Monday afternoon, trying to assess exactly how much flood damage was done by a series of storms that passed through he area.

    Eleven counties, including Cook and DuPage, were declared disaster areas by Gov. Pat Quinn after flooding swamped the region late last month.  Representatives from FEMA surveyed more than 300 homes in the northwestern parts of the state last week. 

    Flooding in West Suburbs

    [CHI] Flooding in West Suburbs
    Several streets shut down, viaducts flooded, cars under water.

    The agency's attention now turns to the Chicagoland region, where state officials estimate about 10,000 homes may be damaged.

    "We're looking, basically, at homes that had structural damage because of the excessive water in the basement, cracks in the foundation, walls that may have bowed," explained FEMA's Gene Romano.

    Cicero is among the more than 75 Cook County communities that are being looked at by federal officials.  Officials there say they met Sunday to discuss the amount of damage done by the water.

    For Westchester resident Linda Barrett, flood insurance is only covering about $40,000 of the estimated $70,000 damage the flood water did to her property.

    "We can't afford it right now,to do everything.  It's like we're trying to do little parts just to be able to move in and then do stuff later," she said.

    Once the assessments are done, the information will be provided to the governor.  If he deems the situation bad enough, he could request that President Obama declare the area a federal disaster area, opening the pipeline to possible federal funds.

    Quinn will be in Westchester on Wednesday to speak with officials there about the flooding.

    In addition to Cook and DuPage, counties declared state disaster areas include: Carroll, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Lee, Mercer, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago, according to a release from the governor's office.