In response to a flurry of concerns and questions after basements throughout the village flooded twice within a month’s time, North Riverside will host a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 6 p.m. in the gym at the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.
In addition to village officials, representatives from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Cook County, ComEd and the village’s engineering firm will be on hand to field questions from residents.
Some 50 residents flocked to the village’s board of trustees meeting on July 26, just two days after the latest hard rains, which deluged the west suburban area. Streets and basements in the village had also flooded during a heavy rain event on June 23.
In the wake of the most recent flooding, North Riverside, Brookfield and Riverside are participating in Cook County’s effort to have the federal government declare it a disaster area and qualify for federal aid for both affected residents and the municipalities themselves.
Damage assessment forms can be found on the Brookfield Web site at www.brookfieldil.gov, the Riverside Web site at www.riverside.il.us and the North Riverside Web site at www.northriverside-il.org.
Residents whose homes were damaged by flooding are encouraged to download the forms, fill them out and return them to the village for submission to the federal government.
However, officials emphasized that should the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) release funds for the county, it would be to reimburse flood victims for structural damage done to homes. Basements are not considered living spaces by FEMA and things like replacing water heaters, furnaces, washers and dryers would likely not qualify for federal reimbursement.
In Brookfield, Village Manager Riccardo Ginex announced last week that due to the extent of damage done to homes in the wake of the July 24 flood event, the village’s waste hauling company, Groot, has extended storm-damage pickup until Friday, Aug. 6.
In addition, the village will not require demolition permits for homes damaged by flooding. However, Brookfield will require permits for reconstruction work. Ginex said that the village’s Building and Planning Department would try to expedite those permits as they come in.
In the village of Riverside, which was not nearly as hard-hit by the flooding (the heavy rains of June 23 resulted in much more widespread damage), any storm damage debris should be left on the curb and will be hauled away by Allied Waste next Tuesday, according to Village Manager Peter Scalera.
Finally, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias announced on July 27 that residents and business owners of northern Illinois affected by flooding are eligible for low-interest disaster recovery loans through the state’s Opportunity Illinois disaster recovery program.
According to a press release, “underinsured residents and business owners can qualify for low-interest loans with repayment terms of up to five years.” One-year, interest-only payment bridge loans are also available to residents and business owners who expect insurance to cover the cost of damages. The loans are to be paid off in one lump sum when insurance comes through.
Anyone interested in finding out more about this program can call the storm victim hotline at 866-523-0641 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.