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Flood Victims Seek Help As Counties Declared Disaster Areas

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Sep 16, 2008 6:45PM

2008_09_16_flooding.JPGAs neighborhoods like Albany Park and many suburbs begin to dry out and clean up from this weekend's flooding, residents are beginning to ask for help from the federal government. Senator Dick Durbin was joined by 39th Ward Alderman Margaret Laurino, and a representative from Barack Obama's office to get a first-hand look at the massive flooding that happened from this weekend's intense rains. Said Durbin:

This has been devastating. A lot of these folks don't have insurance to cover this. One hundred billion gallons of water dumped on any community . . . is something you can't prepare for. I think when we need FEMA, they will be here.
Many residents, such as Aaron Gadiel, personally approached Durbin to ask for help. "Please help us," Gadiel asked Durbin.

For once, Gov. Blagojevich seems to be doing his part. While visiting a Des Plaines shelter for flood victims, he declared seven counties disaster areas: Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, LaSalle and Will. Blagojevich also took to the air to survey the damage. His declaration "allows the state to supply assets and emergency workers to areas affected by the flooding, and also opens up the opportunity for the state to ask for federal disaster assistance." In a statement, the Governor said:

Heavy rains over the weekend caused flooding in several parts of northeastern Illinois. The flood waters have caused widespread damage and forced many people from their homes and today I am declaring Cook and six other counties state disaster areas. I want to assure these affected communities that the state has been in contact with local officials since the rains began to offer any assistance as needed and we will continue to do everything possible to help them quickly recover from this flooding.

For more information on how you can help this weekend's local flood victims, head over to the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago website.

Image of Naperville flooding by Jeff Cagle