SPRINGFIELD – Staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) arrived in Southern Illinois today to begin documenting damage to homes and businesses from recent flooding.
Information gathered during the damage assessment will be used by the state of Illinois to support a request for federal assistance to help affected residents recover from major flooding along the Mississippi, Ohio, Wabash and several other waterways in the region.
“While floodwaters are still receding in some areas, we wanted to get these assessment teams out as soon as possible to begin documenting the damage,” said IEMA Director Jon Monken. “In order to submit the strongest possible request for federal assistance, we need to do a thorough assessment and illustrate how critical that assistance is for people who are trying to recover from the flood.”
State and federal representatives were divided into five teams that will conduct damage assessments in about a dozen counties. Following an organizational meeting Monday morning in Marion, the teams headed out to meet with local emergency managers who will direct them to flood-impacted homes and businesses in their areas. Monken said he expects the damage assessments to be completed by the end of the week.
Teams of IEMA and FEMA staff will be in the region during the week of May 23 to meet with local government officials to gather information on their flood-related expenses, including those for public safety measures, overtime and repair or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure. That information will be used to support a request for federal assistance to help local governments receive reimbursement for many of these costs.
On April 25, Governor Pat Quinn issued a state disaster declaration for the Southern Illinois flooding. The declaration ensured that state resources were available to support local governments during the flooding. The state declaration also is needed to request federal assistance.