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Pike County, Illinois prepares to receive roughly 2.7M in federal flood assistance

The floodwater is long gone, but several communities are still dealing with a big bill from the flood fight this summer.

Six western Illinois counties are getting help from FEMA to pay that bill, but the work is far from over.

Pike County Emergency Management Director Josh Martin said now that he knows the county will be getting reimbursed, it’s time to figure out exactly how much communities need to get back on their feet.

It’s a problem that is extra challenging, because Pike County had to fight flooding on both the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

It’s a busy day in the office for Martin, as he works to fine tune how much money the county spent fighting the flood this summer.

“Overall, as a group, the number I was given was a little over 2.7 million,” Martin said.

That’s just in Pike County alone. Martin said although it’s comforting to know that the federal government is stepping in to help, it depends what all can be covered.

He said they’re dealing with damaged roads and bridges, plus the cost of overtime, equipment use, and fuel, and that’s just some of it.

“They help with things like that, obviously the sandbags, the plastic and any sort of material that we used for operations,” Martin said.

He said this federal assistance has the power to allow smaller towns to operate again, after losing a lot of money fighting the flood.

“Some places are barely able to operate as is, in a normal year, let alone throwing a flood on top of it,” Martin said. “Everyone’s in the same boat, where you’re forced to do more with less.”

That’s why Martin plans to spend the next week preparing his communities for the next meeting with FEMA, in hopes they get all the assistance that they need.

“Being able to do what you had to do to maintain and protect the county and know that at least what you spent, excessive, to jeopardize your budget, is now going to be recouped, that’s huge,” Martin said.

Martin expects that 2.7 million dollar price tag will ride. He said he’ll meet with FEMA Monday to see what will be covered and what won’t.

27 counties along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance.

The counties in our area include Adams, Hancock, Pike, Schuyler and Scott.

This aid is only for local governments. Individual assistance has not been approved.

 

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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