Cook County residents whose homes and businesses flooded during severe storms between June 29 and July 2 have an extra two weeks to apply for federal relief, officials announced Friday.
Residents have until Oct. 30 to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency relief grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs designed to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster, officials said.
Federal officials have already approved more than 60,000 applications for help since mid-August, totaling more than $200 million, according to FEMA’s website.
A joint session of the City Council’s committees on environmental protection and public safety focused on the aftermath of the storm, which Chicago Department of Water Management Commissioner Andrea Cheng called a “once in every 500 years event” that is becoming more frequent because of the impact of climate change.
It is becoming more frequent for deluges that mimic tropical storms to hit Chicago, and stall over a specific area of the city, causing significant damage by overwhelming the city’s sewers and storm management systems, Cheng said.
Chicago’s West Side bore the brunt of the fury of the July 2 storm that also caused widespread flash flooding and delayed NASCAR’s Chicago road race through the streets of downtown, with at least 8.12 inches of rain falling in Garfield Park between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. By comparison, 3.35 inches of rain fell at O’Hare International Airport, on the city’s Far Northwest Side, according to the National Weather Service.
Nearly 8,200 Chicagoans called city officials to report their basements flooded as a result of deluge, which dumped nearly 9 inches of rain on Chicago’s West and South sides on July 2, officials said.