ALEXANDER COUNTY (WSIL) — On Sunday, a team from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was in McClure going door-to-door assessing homes as part of their Preliminary Damage Assessment.
Officials with FEMA say it’s not just the damage caused by flooding that makes this a very serious situation, but it’s also just how long flood victims have been affected.
"The storm was from February 24th through July 3rd, so that is an inordinately long period of time for storm damage," said Jann Tracey.
Jann Tracey is on the FEMA Assessment Team. They will stop at hundreds of homes this week. FEMA’s assessment is the first step for the state of Illinois to pursue a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
"We’re not looking at roads and bridges and infrastructure like that. What we’re looking at are peoples homes to find out if there’s enough damage for each county that has been identified as having storm damage to qualify for a disaster declaration," said Tracey.
Tracey says the process takes time but, once complete, Illinois officials will decide if they need to request a Disaster Declaration.
"What everybody is waiting for is that declaration to happen, because when that happens, it puts all kinds of help, all kinds of financial assistance into play for people who have had damage to their primary residence, or if they’re renters, that would kick into effect," said Tracey.
FEMA plans to be in Alexander County for the next two weeks.