FOX LAKE (CBS) — Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency got their first look at the devastating flood damage from torrential July rains in the far northwest suburbs.
A small army of personnel from FEMA, along with state and county officials, descended on the Bayview Terrace subdivision in Fox Lake, going door–to-door to assess flood damage.
They chatted with residents in areas where the water — long gone now — left dead grass, soggy sand bags and mounds of ruined property.
Gov. Rauner, who met with officials Friday morning, is hopeful it’s bad enough to qualify for federal assistance.
“We need to have over $18 million, roughly $18.3 million, in damage. We don’t know yet whether we have that level of damage,” Rauner said.
He says assessments done by local officials in the days after the flood suggest the damage may be enough. About 3,000 homes were impacted and 300 of them were massively damaged.
For homeowners, federal assistance will help with the financial repair burden when insurance does not.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Eugene Potoczek. “We were out of our house for over a week. We had to walk through flood waters just to get to our cars.”
His wife Robin asked FEMA for help “because usually flood insurance doesn’t cover your foundation.”
FEMA spokeswoman Cheria Brown said: “I’ll be able to make a determination after all the data is compiled. It’s too soon to make a determination.”
Assessments will continue over the weekend, when they’re hoping to catch more residents at home.
But they won’t know until at least next week whether they can expect federal assistance.