Peoria County officials assess flooding damage near Chillicothe

By Mark Bullion

May 6, 2013 Updated May 6, 2013 at 8:20 PM CDT

PEORIA COUNTY -- Peoria County officials were out Monday assessing exterior damage to homes south of Chillicothe.
It's to give the State and the Federal Government a better idea of just how bad the flood was and if Uncle Sam, in the end, may be able to help out.

Generators fired up, water pumping out; a common sight the past few weeks across Central Illinois.

Another common sight is Peoria County planners and inspectors surveying damage to exteriors of homes from Edwards to near Chillicothe.

"We're looking for mechanicals, structural, things along the lines of air conditioning units, hot water heaters, furnaces, cracks in the foundation, we're documenting high water marks and posting placards on properties that visually have flooded or are suspected of having flood damage," said Peoria County Planner Andrew Braun.

Braun says this is the worst flood in Peoria County and while some residents were lucky, others were not. but some are already beginning to piece their lives back together.

"Property owners may be able to start today with some recovery options," said Braun.

Like Jim Whalen who has lived at his elevated home for 10 years. And even though it's elevated 35 feet above the flood plain, his property still suffered thousands of dollars in damage, and luckily he has flood insurance.

"Furnaces, water heaters, and water softeners, they all have to be replaced," said Whalen.

Whalen says when the water came in rushing through his garage, the water rose about 6 feet or so right up to his breaker box, and now he's a very concerned resident because he's not sure if he's going to have to get that breaker box replaced.

But Whalen is still thankful it was only his garage that had the most damage.

"We were lucky, because our house was up, so I don't know, it's just one of those things where every flood's different,' said Whalen.

Peoria County officials will be back out Saturday, May 11 to assess damage inside the homes affected.