EMA Update: Iroquois County Flooding Receding, Recovery Underway

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IROQUOIS COUNTY – Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency officials say flooding is continuing to recede throughout the county, and there is a lot of work to be done on the road to recovery.

In Watseka, the south and west sides of town have significantly less water. Officials warn that the north is still heavily flooded and to exercise caution.

Meanwhile, several roads are also now open across the county. County highway 43 south of Watseka was opened up on New Year’s Eve for travel. U.S. 24 at 7th Street and at the Sugar Creek Bridge in Watseka is also open. IL 1 is now open between Pleasant and Iroquois Streets.

Officials point out that the U.S. 24 and IL 1 intersection remains closed. They also say roads previously flooded that are now open have the potential to be icy. Drivers should use caution, especially in rural areas.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is not in the area. Local officials are following all the appropriate pathways in an effort to acquire federal assistance. According to officials, the Iroquois County EMA plans to perform damage assessment with door-to-door teams early next week as part of the request process.

Those still in need of assistance have resources available to them. The American Red Cross continues to operate a shelter for flood-displaced residents at Trinity Church, on the east side of Watseka. Clean-up kits are also available on a fire-come-first-serve basis.

Additionally, Iroquois County Animal Control is operating an animal shelter at Jefferson Plaza, at the east U.S. 24 and IL 1 intersection.

Families returning home should contact their insurance companies, qualified inspectors/contractors and/or their landlords. The Iroquois County EMA also has the following important information for those returning home:

  • Landlords are responsible for their property, including its maintenance and repair.
  • Ameren and NICOR will not reconnect electricity or gas until the homeowner has a qualified electrician and/or plumber inspect your home and provide a receipt.
  • If you have insurance, call your insurance agent!
  • Be wary of mold in homes. Further information on mold in homes can be found at the IDPH website at www.dph.illinois.gov.
  • Beware of predatory contractors. Contact Watseka City Hall for approved contractors and a fact sheet on how to spot predatory contractors.
  • Make sure your home is ready for your pet.
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