Hultgren asks FEMA to help in Kane, McHenry, Lake and Cook counties
Rep. Randy Hultgren added his support Friday to Gov. Bruce Rauner's request for federal help in dealing with the aftermath of July's floods.
Rauner made a state disaster declaration in mid-July for Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. The move followed four days of rain and the cresting of the Fox River at 25 percent higher than its average water level. Rauner's actions made state trucks, water pumps and sandbags available to flood victims.
A similar declaration at the federal level could bring financial aid to those with direct losses not covered by insurance. Hultgren believes the flooding cost the local economy in flooded areas of his district millions of dollars.
The process of getting federal help begins with a damage assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Hultgren sent a letter Friday in a direct appeal to FEMA Administrator William Long.
"Last month, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook counties suffered from severe flooding that has left these communities struggling to make the necessary repairs to restore their way of life," Hultgren wrote. "I would gratefully appreciate any assistance your agency can provide to the state of Illinois in conducting damage assessments. We cannot afford for damage to any family home or small business to go overlooked."
In the letter, Hultgren says he believes local governments did all they could. But the water was so high that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said, "Flooding of this magnitude has not been seen before."
"The best planning and the strongest response by local government can only do so much to combat 6-8 inches of rain in under a day, which is what happened in Lake County," Hultgren's letter reads. "Unfortunately, the flood risks only continued to grow. The state of Illinois needs your help."