McLean County Still Compiling Flood Damage Reports; Relief Unknown
The McLean County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) reports more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the county had structural damage in last month’s floodsand more than 100 properties were heavily damaged or destroyed.
EMA officials said Monday it's too soon to say if the area will qualify for federal assistance. EMA acting director Cathy Beck said the county will likely get some federal help for businesses, homeowners and renters, but it's not clear how much that will be.
“As a county, we should qualify for small business assistance which would be low-interest, long-term loans for businesses and homeowners,” Beck said.
Beck said the county doesn’t have a damage assessment yet, noting EMA relief is based on a complex formula that includes home values, employment and other data that could change after a storm. She said the county is working with Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) officials on compiling those reports, while a mutual aid team of volunteers from across Illinois and several neighboring states expected to wrap up door-to-door assessments Monday.
“I’ve talked to many homeowners on the phone. I’ve seen a lot of the reports. While some people may have only had two inches of water in their basement, some people had six feet of water,” Beck explained.
The county continues to take damage reports online, even though the county's July 9 deadline has passed.
Beck said even if FEMA approves funding, relief would only cover structural damage — not things like damaged equipment, furniture, or clothing.
Beck said the county won't meet the $20 million damage threshold to get relief for county property. The basement of the McLean County Law and Justice Center and McLean County Animal Control had some flooding, county officials have said.
McLean County issued a disaster declaration in late June and extended it last week to allow more time to assess damages. Beck said the county plans to submit reports for state and federal review later this month.
McLean County residents and business owners who suffered flood damage last month can find resources for state and local assistance at a multi-agency resource center event this weekend at Bloomington Junior High School (BJHS).
Beck said the the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Illinois Department of Insurance and other private and public organizations will be there, adding dozens of agencies have been invited.
“Hopefully, people can get the help they need or get pointed in the right direction without having to make 100 phone calls to only find out they are not being pointed to the right place,” Beck said.
The event will be at from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Sunday at BJHS.