Flood Watch - April 30, 2013

Rep. Halbrook pics from Lawrence Co
Flooding continues to impact Illinois residents, businesses and farmers in a big way.

We will keep you posted with updates from IEMA and the Governor's office as we receive them.

Some resources for the cleanup and recovery:

Find your local American Red Cross chapter: www.redcross.org

Ready Illinois: www.ready.illinois.gov

Find your local Salvation Army: www.salvationarmyusa.org

Get the latest road closing information from IDOT: http://www.dot.il.gov/road/roadClosures.htm

The latest river stages in Illinois from the National Weather Service: 
Lawrence County IL


Important cleanup information from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - 4/30

SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (ILEPA) today urged Illinois residents recovering from flooding to be aware of assistance that’s available to them through state and local authorities to properly dispose of flood debris. These practices are necessary because flood debris can cause harmful health effects and damage the environment. As flood waters recede and people return to their homes, knowing how to get rid of flood-damaged property will help people recover more quickly and safely.

Clean water and a clean environment are the key to safe communities, especially after a flood,” Lisa Bonnett, Director of the ILEPA said. “Our agency is committed to working with our local government partners to ensure that flood victims get the assistance they need to recover from this ordeal and that their water supplies remain protected.”

ILEPA has several categories of proper flood debris disposal. Any questions about which materials can be landfilled, burned or recycled will be answered promptly by calling: Landfill waste material (217-524-3300), open burning waste (217-782-2113), immediate emergency (800-782-7860), outdoor chemical contamination (217-782-3637)

Drinking Water Concerns:
Be sure to listen to special announcements about local boil orders that may be in effect. If a local advisory is issued, the safest route is to drink bottled water or juices. If you must use water during boil order conditions, it must be boiled vigorously for at least five minutes.

Water used to make ice, brush teeth, or wash dishes also must be boiled. Private water wells should be pumped out, allowed to recharge naturally, disinfected with bleach, and tested before drinking or cooking.

Your local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health regional office will provide you with information and assistance in testing your private well. Should special testing of water supplies for pesticides or other contaminants be necessary, immediate action will be taken by the ILEPA. Community water supplies already routinely test the potable water supply for a wide variety of contaminants which include but not limited to pesticides, volatile organic chemicals, disinfection by-products, inorganic chemicals and coliform bacteria. Should special testing of community water supplies for other contaminants be necessary, immediate action will be taken by the ILEPA.

Recycling Flood Waste and Sandbags:
Uncontaminated sand and sandbags can be recycled for other household and industrial uses, or they can be used as fill for roads and holes. Common sense should be used. For example, sand that may have come into contact with sewage should not be used in children’s sand boxes. Reuses that do not involve direct ongoing human contact, such as construction uses involving foundation backfilling or pipe bedding, are acceptable. Sand that is visually contaminated, such as with oil or fecal matter should be disposed as waste. Visual inspection of the sand as well as local responder knowledge can be used to assist in determining if sand has come into contact with flood waters. When in doubt, it is generally safer to assume that the sand has come into contact with flood waters.

Household appliances, also known as “white goods,” can be recycled by taking them to a local scrap dealer, who will remove potentially harmful components. For information on scrap dealers in your area check the yellow pages or call a local appliance retailer.

Tires must be disposed at a registered commercial processing facility. Units of local government may accumulate used and waste tires recovered via flood cleanup. It is important to drain all used tires collected from the flood of standing water and to store them in a manner that prevents the further accumulation of water. Contact the ILEPA at 217-785-8604 for further information and possible assistance. In addition, other recyclable materials should be separated and recycled such as glass, metal debris and plastics.

Electronic waste:
A new law went into effect at the beginning of 2012 that bans most electronics items from landfills. You will find information on the link http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/electronic-waste-recycling/index.html. A list of retailers that take certain electronics can be found at http://epadata.epa.state.il.us/land/eWaste/crr-list.asp.
Household Hazardous Flood Waste Disposal:
Household hazardous waste (HHW) and other chemical products should be disposed of properly to avoid health and pollution risks. HHW should be placed in plastic bags and left with traditional household garbage at the curb for normal collection.

Sealed Drum and Propane Tank Disposal:
Sealed drums, propane tanks and other pressurized gas cylinders with unknown contents should not be handled by untrained persons. Please notify the ILEPA Office of Emergency Response at 217-782-3637 or Illinois Emergency Management Agency at 800-782-7860. To dispose of propane tanks, contact the nearest propane distributor. Propane tanks have serial numbers that will allow for identification of tank owners and locations.

Land filling Flood Waste:
You may dispose of the following items in your local landfill: lumber, trees, branches, brush, sand, sandbags, plastic sheeting, shingles, insulation, animal carcasses, grain, animal feed, food, carpet, furniture, metal debris and machinery.

Appliances cannot be disposed of in landfills, because components on the appliances that contain Freon, mercury, PCBs and other hazardous chemical must first be removed by licensed professionals. Therefore, household appliances must be recycled through a local scrap dealer.

Burning Flood Waste:
Tree limbs, brush, natural wood and plant debris can be burned on site or at a community site under the supervision of a local government without a permit. Agricultural waste (bags, cartons, dry bedding, structural materials and crop residue) can also be burned on site without a permit.

Burning clean wood, building debris, and lumber does require a permit from the ILEPA. The Open Burning Permit Application Form can be faxed to 217-524-5023 and is listed on the agency’s website at: http://www.epa.state.il.us/air/permits/openburn/index.html

Units of local government can apply for multiple burn locations under a single permit application and are encouraged to do so.

Applicants other than units of government can also apply for multiple burn locations under a single permit application if the applicant provides proof along with the application that the proposed activities have been coordinated with the unit of local government and the local Fire Protection District.

The ILEPA typically issues these permits within 1 - 2 days after receipt of the application; however, upon request the ILEPA can expedite permits in the event of an emergency. These permits are typically issued for a short period (e.g., covering 30 to 90 days) after which time they expire.
General Conditions for the Open Burning of Disaster Debris
1) Coordinate the burn with the local Fire Protection District.
2) Conduct the burn when the wind is blowing away from roadways, railroad tracks, airfields, and populated areas.
3) Provide on-site supervision of the burn location.
4) Burning should occur only from approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to get the best natural smoke dispersion conditions.

Burning of asbestos-containing materials and tires is NOT allowed under any circumstances.

Call Floyd McKinney at (217) 782-2113 for additional information or to request an expedited permit in the event of an emergency. In the event that Floyd McKinney is not available, a secondary contact in the event of an emergency is John Blazis at (217) 524-0636.

Oil leakage from downed power poles:
After storms, electrical transformers on downed power poles have the potential to leak oil into the environment. Some transformers still contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are persistent and toxic environmental pollutants. If you see downed transformers, please alert local officials who can then contact the appropriate electrical utility company about disposal or cleanup. If you observe leaks from a transformer, you may contact an Illinois EPA Regional office during business hours at http://www.epa.state.il.us/land/regions/ or call Illinois Emergency Management Agency at 800-782-7860 or 217-782-7860.

Since last Thursday, Governor Quinn has surveyed damage on the ground and from the air and met with local officials in some of the hardest hit communities, including Elmhurst, Des Plaines, Marseilles, Ottawa, River Forest, Bellwood, Riverside, Moline, Quincy, Bartonville and North Aurora.

In addition to Ogle and Stark counties, the following counties have been declared state disaster areas: Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. It came after assessments by emergency officials and the governor, and begins the process of securing federal relief.

Governor Quinn activated the State Incident Response Center on Thursday to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas. The state’s flood response is coordinated by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. For more information, go to Ready.Illinois.gov.

Preliminary Damage Assessments begin today - 4/29
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has begun its preliminary damage assessment (PDA) for this spring's severe flooding. The PDA process involves IEMA and FEMA personnel visiting the disaster areas and compiling a report on the extent of the damage. Once completed, the report is reviewed and, if the damage reaches a certain threshold, is submitted to the President as a formal request for a federal disaster declaration. To be declared a federal disaster area, the state has to make the case that the damage from the flood is above and beyond the capability of the state to respond. The last such declaration for Illinois came after the devastating Ohio River flood in the spring of 2011.

Assistance available from the State Treasurer's office - 4/29

Illinois residents who have sustained damage in the floods this spring may be eligible for a Disaster Recovery Loan from the office of the State Treasurer.

The Disaster Recovery Loan program helps qualified borrowers obtain loans with lower interest rates so that they can repair weather-related damage. Those who obtain a disaster loan have up to five years to repay it.

More information is available by calling 1-866-523-0641, or by visiting www.treasurer.il.gov.

This morning's update - 4/26, 10:45 a.m.

The Mississippi River is falling at points from St. Louis north, and is reaching its crest to the south.

The Illinois River is nearing its crest at Havana and Beardstown, but will remain at record levels for a few days before beginning a slow fall.

The Wabash River is reaching its crest at several points. Four Wabash River counties were added to the state's disaster declaration yesterday. Representative Brad Halbrook (below) assisted in sandbagging efforts in Lawrence County today.

The Illinois Department of Corrections has 174 inmates and staff engaged in filling sandbags throughout the state. DOC has filled 240,000 sandbags thus far. The Department of Transportation has transported over 865,000 sandbags.

The LaSalle County Health Department is offering TDAP shots for those who have been involved in the flood-fighting efforts. Those shots are available at the Health Department office in Ottawa. The initial assessment there included 22 single family homes, 12 mobile homes and 23 businesses affected in Utica, 31 homes and one business affected in Ottawa.

Tazewell County officials have started damage assessment and debris management. People have begun returning to areas that were under voluntary evacuations in East Peoria.

A voluntary evacuation is in place in Old York and Darwin on the Wabash, and 15 homes are flooded in Old York (shelter info is below). A private levee between the Embarras and Wabash rivers overtopped in Lawrence County, flooding mostly agricultural land.

The present list of counties that have been declared disaster areas by the state:

Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Cook, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, JoDaviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago, Woodford

There is no federal disaster declaration at this time.

The latest information on shelters - 4/26 10:45 a.m.

24Pearce Community Center23Mass CareSIRC LIA ARCPearce Community Center
610 West Cedar Street, Chillicothe, IL
25Trinity Lutheran Church23Mass CareSIRC LIA ARCTrinity Lutheran Church
1101 Kimberly Way, Lisle IL, Lisle, IL
77Wheeling Park District22Mass CareSIRC LIA ARCWheeling Park District
333 W. Dundee, Wheeling, IL
First Baptist Church of Havana
101 South Charlotte Street, Havana, IL
St. Augustine Parish Hall
319 N. Charles Street, Ashland, IL
West Union Christian Church
106 South Washington, West Union, IL
Prairie Lake Recreation Center
515 Thacker, Des Plaines, IL

IEMA answers Frequently Asked Questions from local governments

FAQs for Local Governments Affected by Flooding

What does the state disaster declaration mean for local governments?

Governor Quinn declared 44 counties state disaster areas.  This ensures state resources are available to help local officials respond to and recover from the disaster.  State assistance includes resources such as sandbags, inmate labor for sandbagging or debris removal, law enforcement support and more.  If you need assistance from the state, please submit your request through your municipal or county emergency management agency.

The declaration also is necessary for the state to seek federal assistance for people, businesses and local governments.

What is federal Public Assistance?

Public Assistance (PA) is federal assistance that may provide reimbursement to governmental bodies for up to 75 percent of eligible disaster-related expenses.

How can we qualify for federal Public Assistance?

There are two thresholds that must be met for federal Public Assistance:

·         First, the total statewide eligible disaster-related expenses (expenses from all impacted counties and all state agency expenses) must exceed $17.57 million.

·         Second, a county’s eligible disaster-related expenses must meet a threshold determined by its population multiplied by $3.45.

Both thresholds must be met in order for a county to receive federal Public Assistance.

Do we include home and business damage costs in our county threshold?

No.  Federal assistance for people and businesses affected by flooding is a separate program known as Individual Assistance.

What is the state doing to get Public Assistance for local governments?

Damage assessment teams from IEMA and FEMA will schedule times to meet with officials from flood-impacted local government bodies to document eligible disaster-related expenses.  The information will be used to determine if the state meets its threshold AND if individual counties meet their thresholds.

What should we do to be prepared for the Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA)?

You will need to assist with two types of PDAs:

Individual Assistance (for people and businesses):

·         Collect damage information from affected citizens and provide it to your local emergency management agency. 

·         Participate in PDAs with personnel from IEMA, FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to document damage to homes and businesses.

Public Assistance PDAs:

·         Throughout the response and recovery process, maintain documentation of all disaster-related expenses, such as overtime, debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair and replacement of damaged public property.

·         Compile all expenses documentation so it is readily available for your PDA meeting.

For more information, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov or contact your local emergency management agency.