October 20, 2008 (Morris Daily Herald) -- Grundy County residents who sustained flood damage the weekend of Sept. 12 to 14, can now call the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance.

Grundy County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Bridget Alhgrim said people interested in getting assistance can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) any time of the day or night. For hearing- or speech-impaired individuals, the number is 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).

Registration can also be done on-line at www.fema.gov. On Friday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced the federal government had approved federal assistance for the victims of flooding in Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane, La Salle, Will and Grundy counties.

“The worst damage (locally) was in Coal City, Mazon, and Cemetery Road got hit hard,” Alhgrim said.

She said representatives from FEMA made a preliminary estimate of the flood damage when they were in the county the week after the flooding. The governor then submitted a request for federal disaster assistance to the president on Sept. 24.

The initial assessment showed about 3,000 homes in the seven counties were damaged, including 520 with major damage and 10 homes that were destroyed.

Alhgrim said FEMA will have someone in the county, but suggested those with damage should call the toll-free number first.

“We will begin working immediately with FEMA to ensure flood victims get needed help as quickly as possible,” Andrew Velasquez III, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said.

Elizabeth Turner has been named the federal coordinating officer for recovery operations in the seven-county area.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses as well as other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the flood.