Tight Deadline For IEMA To Seek Federal Disaster Aid

(CBS) – Local municipalities are trying to meet a mid-week deadline to submit its paperwork for flood disaster assistance.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph says he wants local and county damage assessment information to his agency by the close of business Wednesday July 26.

Joseph said he can give a couple of days of cushion to the hardest-hit areas, and adds he’s well aware that the Fox River has not crested and faces new flooding threats because of renewed rains locally and upstream in southern Wisconsin.

He wants to avoid what happened several years ago when the state’s initial request for federal disaster aid was rejected; it was granted weeks later.

If the state requests assistance and a presidential proclamation is made, individual homeowners and renters who have flood damage are eligible for federal grants, but Joseph says they may not cover all repair costs.  He says typically, the grants run $3,000 to $5,000 per household, with a maximum of $33,000.

A federal disaster declaration would also allow affected residents to apply for low-interest, long-term loans to aid their recovery.

Joseph praised the efforts of local officials to assist the public, and said that, as painful as it has been to see families preparing to abandon their homes to floodwaters, he found it encouraging that some had packed their cars in anticipation of being forced out by rising waters.

He specifically named Algonquin, where 150 volunteers filled an estimated 8,000 sandbags Friday, working through a cloudburst.

Sandbagging will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Algonquin Public Works building, 110 Meyers Drive.

Watch & Listen LIVE