- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

KINCAID, Ill. (AP) - Residents of a central Illinois community are still assessing damage inflicted by floodwaters from Sangamon River.

About 44 homes in the Christian County town of Kincaid were damaged by flooding in December, which was caused by heavy rains, Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler told the State Journal-Register (https://bit.ly/1PnZSl2 ). At least 15 of those homes are still unoccupied due to damage, and some of the people who have moved back in are continuing to make repairs to their homes.

“They are living in them and fixing them up day-by-day when they have time,” Wheeler said. “A lot had water in the basement and things like that. The other houses were completely gutted.”

Officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration were in Kincaid on Thursday to assess the damage and determine whether it meets the criteria for a disaster declaration.

State and federal inspectors also are assessing the extent of damage to homes and businesses affected by the late December and early January flooding in Alexander, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Iroquois, Jersey, Madison, Randolph, Sangamon and St. Clair counties.

If the declaration is made, residents could be eligible for federal assistance.

“One of the misconceptions is that this is just about a home count. It isn’t,” said Donald Kauerauf, chief of the bureau of preparedness and grants administration for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “It’s the impact on the community. We’re trying to find out if people lost their jobs, were they unable to get to work or were businesses shut down because of the flood. That’s all part of the assessment.”

Kincaid Mayor David Oller said costs to the local government have included about $6,300 in dumping fees and a couple thousand dollars in overtime for the police and street departments.

The village has been working with businesses in an effort to provide donated building materials to area residents.

A decision could be made as early as next week on the disaster declaration, Kauerauf said.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, https://www.sj-r.com

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