West Side residents, IL leaders call on Biden administration to send federal help after flooding

Chicago weather: Heavy flooding last month damaged homes, businesses

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Calls for federal assistance after West Side flooding continue
FEMA visited the area, but some Chicago residents feel like they're on their own. Pritzker, Durbin and Duckworth are asking Biden for more help.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than a month after heavy flooding caused damage to homes on the West Side, people are still looking for help with recovery.

On Tuesday, faith leaders called for money from the federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency visited, but people feel as though they're on their own when it comes to fixing the damage.

Residents are still recovering from record-setting rain and storms that caused devastating flooding on Chicago's West Side more than a month ago.

For Austin resident Patty Ringo, it's "been a very stressful situation."

It was July 2 when her basement took on 5 feet of water.

"I got ready to go out the door, and my granddaughter yelled out, 'granny, it's a flood!' I looked back, and sewer water is coming up in our basement rapidly," Ringo said.

Ringo said it's been a frustrating wait for any word of funding to help with flood recovery.

And she's not alone. The topic was addressed during a monthly meeting of faith and community leaders.

SEE ALSO: Chicago nonprofit caring for young mothers asks for help after flooding causes $1M in damage

The Rev. Ira Acree said West Side residents have been left to fend for themselves.

"It's a shame. A month later, 37 days after more than 2,000 homes were damaged by floods, we still have not gotten accurate or fair response," said Acree, with the Leaders Network.

FEMA officials late last month toured the West Side, conducting a preliminary assessment of the storm damage.

"What we find is that the damages in many people's homes are ranging anywhere from $5K to $25K," 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin said.

On Monday, Illinois Congressional members, including Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, sent a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to unlock federal funding.

The letter is in support of Gov. JB Pritzker's request for a federal disaster declaration.

Ervin said he feels confident funding will be granted.

"Help is on the way. I know it may not come when you want it to come, but I think it will be on time," he said.

That would be welcome news for Ringo.

"I lost my furnace, washer and dryer, just so much," she said.