Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Illinois officials begin flood assessment

CARBONDALE, IL (WSIU) - Officials from the state and federal levels arrived in southern Illinois Monday to begin documenting damage to homes and businesses from this spring's flooding.

Staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration say information gathered during the damage assessment will be used by the state of Illinois to support a request for federal assistance.

IEMA director Jonathon Monken says five teams of state and federal officials will conduct damage assessments in about a dozen counties.

"Basically what they are focusing their attention and time on is counties that actually reported having private homes or significant private property damage in the course of the flood," Monken said. "So this is really the phase that we are really working on right now is the individual assistance phase, which is geared specifically towards those private properties."

Monken says he expects the damage assessments to be completed by the end of the week.

He says the assessments will be very thorough.

“They look for a lot of things. The water level in the house. How high it ultimately reached. Whether or not it hit the electrical system or affected the electrical systems. Whether or not basic life support functions are still there, meaning life support in terms of water, electricity, heating, air conditioning, things like that. And then they also look at whether or not there was any structural damage to the home itself,” Monken said.

The documentation of damage comes as the Ohio River continues receding, having threatened Cairo and swamped parts of Metropolis.

The Ohio River's retreat meant that a highway bridge linking Cairo to Wickliffe, Kentucky has reopened, and the curfew in Cairo was lifted Monday.

Governor Pat Quinn issued a state disaster declaration for the southern Illinois flooding on April 25th.

Brad Palmer, WSIU


Post a Comment