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FEMA officials visit DuPage County flood victims

August 26, 2010 3:26:29 PM PDT
A door-to-door effort is under way to bring federal aid to flood victims in DuPage County. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency visited residents in that area Thursday with information about filing for federal relief money.

But not everyone hit by flooding is being granted federal aid. DuPage is one of seven Illinois counties declared federal disaster areas by President Obama due to flooding.

Inspectors have been out all week and some flood victims have received an answer.

Lillian Richards' apartment has been inhabitable since the July floods forced the family out. Inside the only thing that remains is mold.

"The fire department came in, took us out via boat, and I was able to grab my purse and my schoolbooks, and that is it," said Richards.

Those items now sit in a nearby hotel, Richards' home for a month. Now that federal officials have approved over $23 million in disaster assistance for seven Illinois counties and was hoping to get financial help from FEMA, which was denied after an inspector came out to look at her apartment.

"We lost everything we own. We are looking for an apartment," said Richards.

Richards did appeal and FEMA is coming back out to inspect.

In the meantime, FEMA workers are going door to door in Carol Stream to make sure people apply for help.

"This is part of our efforts of getting the word out to people. If you are affected by the flooding, do not make an assessment yourself. Let us worry about whether you qualify or not. The first step is register," said Kim Anderson, FEMA spokesperson.

Julie Stepek's Carol Stream neighborhood was underwater a month ago. Her family has already applied for help. Now they wait for a FEMA inspector.

The Stepek's flood insurance does cover repairs, but not temporary housing. They are confident FEMA will help.

"We have no furniture in the house. I have nowhere for my kids to sleep. And the house is nowhere near ready. It's pretty much torn apart, so we can't really stay here," said Stepek.

If you have made repairs to your home, which many people have, FEMA says that's okay as long as you keep the receipts.


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