EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County officials Thursday announced the cost to local governments related to the flooding in late December and early January is estimated to exceed $10 million.
The initial disaster impact assessment was compiled by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency and was submitted to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency as part of the disaster reimbursement process.
Although damage estimates are not yet available for losses incurred by property owners, more than 150 businesses and residences in the county were severely damaged and hundreds of other properties incurred varying degrees of damage.
In a press release, Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said virtually every area of the county was impacted by the three days of torrential rains in late December.
“Because of its location on the banks of the Mississippi River, the city of Alton incurred the greatest expense battling the floods,” he said. “But as a result of the sheer volume of rain, extensive flooding occurred throughout the county, affecting thousands of property owners.”
Dunstan said representatives from a number of Madison County departments, including the Emergency Management Agency and Community Development, worked with local officials to assess the flooding costs and damage.
“An accurate assessment is essential in order for the local governments to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), providing the government issues and President Obama signs a federal disaster declaration,” he said.
During the next step in the process, IEMA representatives will meet with local officials to validate the expenses associated with the flooding.
The initial disaster impact assessment addresses material and labor costs in seven categories, including emergency protective measures, road and bridge systems, debris removal, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utility systems and park and recreational areas.
Dunstan is calling upon Gov. Bruce Rauner to ask President Obama to issue a federal disaster declaration to give local governments, businesses and residents needed emergency assistance.
“If Madison County is declared to be a federal disaster area as a result of the flooding, local governments are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the costs incurred,” he said. “Impacted residents and businesses would be eligible for grants and low-interest loans to help repair damage.”
“Madison County government is doing everything possible to lessen the impact on our communities and, ultimately, the taxpayers,” Dunstan said. “I am hopeful government officials in Washington will carefully assess the destructive impact of the flooding in our area and will issue a disaster declaration.”
FEMA to work with state on flood, storm damage assessments
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will assist with damage assessments in nearly two dozen counties devastated by flooding and severe weather in late December and early January.
“We want to do everything possible to help people and communities affected by this devastating flooding and the severe storms that preceded it,” Rauner said. “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.”
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.
FEMA will also work with the 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.
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. Twenty-three counties previously were declared state disaster areas for this event.
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. The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated on Dec. 28 to coordinate deployments of personnel and resources to help communities battle floodwaters.