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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • FEMA, IEMA officials begin conducting damage assessments

  • HARRISBURG-- Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived in Harrisburg Monday to begin conducting preliminary damage assessments on homes and businesses impacted by the tornado. They were joined by staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.


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  • Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived in Harrisburg Monday to begin conducting preliminary damage assessments on homes and businesses impacted by the tornado. They were joined by staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
    For the first few days, FEMA will be gathering information and documenting damage, which will be used by the state to support a request for federal assistance.
    “Today's process is about individual assistance,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “This is a very important step in the process.”
    After a brief press conference, FEMA and IEMA personnel began knocking on doors of affected homes to speak with residents and photograph damage. Hannah Vick of FEMA said it does not matter whether or not residents are home when the preliminary damage assessment takes place. Vick also said any damage should be reported to FEMA regardless of whether or not homeowners have insurance.
    Monken said he expects individual damage assessments to be completed by Thursday.
    One of the houses where FEMA and IEMA staff stopped to do a damage assessment was the home of Mark Mathis on Sullivan Street. Mathis said an adjuster has already been by his house and he was told the damage to his home is beyond repair.
    “It's a total loss,” said Mathis.
    The next step in the emergency response process will be determining the need for public assistance from FEMA. Teams of FEMA and IEMA staff will be meeting with local government officials next week to gather information on storm-related expenses, including repair or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure. That information will be used to support a request for federal assistance to help local governments receive reimbursements for some of the costs incurred as a result of the storm.
    If FEMA determines the situation is beyond the recovery capabilities of combined local, county and state resources, the area may be declared a federal disaster area.

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