2017 Flood Information
What’s Happening Now?
Lake County Emergency Management Agency collected damage information from the July 2017 floods (private property, and public infrastructure damages) and submitted a Disaster Impact Assessment (DIA) form to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
Lake County is working with its partners at IEMA to determine if the damage from the floods qualifies for federal assistance. This is referred to as the Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) phase.
It is too soon to tell whether Lake County will qualify for assistance as data is still preliminary. IEMA is reviewing the data (collected from municipalities and townships) and submitted by Lake County officials to validate the costs. IEMA will ultimately make a determination on whether a more formal damage assessment should be conducted that could support a state request for federal assistance.
The State of Illinois threshold for Public Assistance (PA) is $18.3 million (for this one disaster), but there are several factors that go into this, including the damage and cost incurred across the region from this particular storm.
If a federal declaration is awarded, it could potentially help reimburse local, county, and state governments, and certain private, non-profit organizations for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair/replacement of damaged public infrastructure.
Individual assistance from FEMA is not available unless a federal declaration is awarded. If a federal disaster declaration is made, it could potentially enable residents affected by flooding to apply for low-interest loans and/or grants from FEMA.
The Disaster Declaration Process is a multi-step process that could take up to two to three months.
- Disaster occurs
- Local governments respond to disaster and then move into disaster recover and clean-up
- Local government conducts damage assessment
- Local damage assessment information provided to IEMA
- IEMA determines need for FEMA/IEMA damage assessment
- FEMA/IEMA conduct preliminary more detailed damage assessment with local officials. We are here in the process.
Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor along with District 5 Commissioner Judy Martini joined Governor Bruce Rauner and other state and local officials in Fox Lake on Aug. 18 to announce that state and federal teams will be touring areas impacted by the recent flood as part of the ongoing damage assessment process. The teams will validate the damage submitted by local communities to see if it meets the requirements for federal assistance that could help families and businesses recover from this devastating flood.
- Governor may request Federal Disaster Declaration
- FEMA reviews IEMA’s request for declaration
- President may sign a Federal Disaster Declaration
On July 11 and 12, Lake County was inundated by heavy rains which led to flash flooding in several Lake County communities, and flooding to our major river systems, including the Des Plaines River and Fox River/Chain O’Lakes. The Lake County Emergency Operations Center was activated to coordinate flood response activities. Initial reports showed about 6,000 structures were impacted by flood waters, and that total does not include other damage from flash flooding across the county.
On July 12, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor proclaimed Lake County a disaster area. Following a visit from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on July 14, the governor issued a State disaster proclamation, which can open the door for federal assistance.
In this video, Chairman Aaron Lawlor visits the Red Cross Disaster Resource Center, which helped thousands of families impacted by the floods. He talks about the response efforts, including what a local disaster declaration means, clean-up, and what all residents should know about mosquitoes.
- Red Cross hotline: 847-220-7495
- Salvation Army donation hotline: 1-888-369-1349
- Illinois Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has work teams available to provide free hands on help with flood recovery. Once a person fills out a request for assistance, their teams will assess your home and will remove contaminated materials and drywall and sanitize the structure. Call 1-217-622-5101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- The Illinois REALTORS Relief Foundation is accepting applications from northern Illinois property owners in Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties who have been impacted by the recent flooding. Anyone who is a full-time Illinois resident, a U.S. citizen, and meets the criteria of the program are eligible to obtain funds. Relief assistance can be used for the applicant’s home-related items (e.g. mortgage assistance, rental cost of temporary shelter, unreimbursed losses), and is limited to $500 per application. For more information and to apply for assistance, property owners should download this application.
If your home or personal property was damaged by the flooding, contact your insurance company to determine coverage and start the claim process.
Residents should complete emergency clean-up activities that may include removing water damaged property (carpeting, cabinets, etc.). Once the flood water recedes, contact your local community development or the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department (for unincorporated residents) to inquire about a permit to do additional repairs, such as replacing drywall.
Some local agencies are offering permit fee waivers and/or fast-tracking permits for flood-related repairs. If you live in a municipality, contact your village. Residents in unincorporated Lake County can contact the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department at 847-377-2600.
Waste and Debris
For waste and debris collection information, contact your village. If you live in unincorporated Lake County, contact your hauler/waste management services provider.
Lake County has worked with our local community partners to develop options for disposal of sand bags. Each local community evaluated the particular disposal needs and the possible solutions and then developed a plan that best met the needs of their community. Therefore, the County will not be providing dumpsters to impacted neighborhoods. Lake County Public Works is accepting used sand bags from residents. They can be dropped off at the Lake County Public Works Maintenance Facility, 648 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville during business hours.
Wet sandbags are considered to be contaminated by flood waters due to potential for high bacteria levels. Residents should not use this sand in playgrounds or sandboxes. Individuals may also use sand from their sandbags to do limited beach nourishment or landscaping work, but should not fill in wetlands or floodways. Spreading the sand out thinly will allow ultraviolet radiation in sunlight to kill many bacteria and reduce the chances of infection.
During heavy rains and floods, the ground is often saturated, preventing proper operation of septic systems. Waste water from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and ground water. Visit this page for more information on signs that a septic system is not working properly, and precautions you can take.
Flood waters may contaminate wells. Drinking and/or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded is not advised as the well water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants.
Residents on private wells need to have their water tested after floodwaters have receded. The Health Department is offering free water testing to residents whose wells are affected by flooding. For additional information on well water testing, contact Environmental Health Services at (847) 377-8020.
Property Assessment Relief for Flood Victims
Residents who were affected by the flooding may qualify for assessment relief by filling out the Disaster Area Application for Reassessment. Forms can be sent by email to email@example.com or can be mailed to the Chief County Assessment Office, 18 N. County St. 7th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085. Make sure to include any supporting documentation if applicable. For more information, contact the Chief County Assessment Office at 847-377-2050 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or your local township assessor’s office.
Lake County Recorder Provides Deeds for Flood Victims
Owners of flood-damaged properties who are seeking financial assistance from Lake County banks and lending institutions will need to show proof of ownership in order to secure loans. The Lake County Recorder's Office will be working closely with government officials and impacted property owners to provide any necessary recorded documents at no cost to flood victims. To obtain a free certified copy of the deed, contact the Recorder of Deeds Office at 847-377-2575. Lake County military veterans in flood-damage areas may also qualify for additional programs. Veterans may contact the Recorder of Deeds Office to obtain a free certified copy of their Military Discharge Papers, commonly known as DD214s, for proof of military service.
Be Aware of Flood-Related Fraud
Residents should be aware of the increased risk of scammers attempting to capitalize on those impacted by flooding. Some safety tips include:
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and your insurance company to determine the credibility of the service provider.
- Do not let anybody inside of your home, unless you have initiated the appointment.
- Obtain several (three or more) estimates for repair work.
- Take photographs of your contractor and any work vehicles.
- Before work begins, obtain a written contract.
- If you see or detect anything suspicious, contact your local law enforcement agency.
Check Good Standing of Businesses – IL Secretary of State
Report fraud to the IL Attorney General
Report a scam to the Better Business Bureau