2017 Flood Information
What’s Happening Now?Tax Credit for Victims of July 2017 Flood
Lake County property owners who sustained flood damage from the July 2017 flood may be eligible to claim an income tax credit worth up to $750 under a new law recently approved by the Illinois Legislature and signed by the governor. If eligible, the income tax credit may be applied to the resident’s 2017 Illinois income taxes.
The income tax credit is only for qualified property that was damaged as a result of the July 2017 floods. Impacted property owners may apply for the income tax credit through their Township Assessor or the Chief County Assessment Office. As part of the certification process, property owners will need to complete an IRS form, along with a Natural Disaster Income Tax Credit Certificate, and will need to provide proof of loss in the form of receipts, insurance claims or other validation. Qualifications and the required forms to claim the income tax credit can be found on the Chief County Assessment Office’s website.
Once eligible flood victims submit the necessary forms to their Township Assessor or the Chief County Assessment Office, and it is approved, they will need to submit the certificate with their income tax return.
If a property owner has questions regarding the income tax credit, call the Illinois Department of Revenue at 1-800-732-8866, or visit tax.illinois.gov.
On July 11 and 12, Lake County was inundated by heavy rains which led to flash flooding in several Lake County communities, and flooding to our major river systems, including the Des Plaines River, Skokie River and Fox River/Chain O’Lakes. The Lake County Emergency Operations Center was activated to coordinate flood response activities. Initial reports showed about 6,000 structures were impacted by flood waters, and that total does not include other damage from flash flooding across the county.
On July 12, Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor proclaimed Lake County a disaster area. Following a visit from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on July 14, the governor issued a State disaster proclamation.
On September 1, Governor Bruce Rauner sent a request to the President of the United States asking that he approve federal assistance to help people in the northern Illinois region, including Lake County, recover from record flooding and severe storms in July. In November 2017, FEMA denied the request. More information on the disaster declaration process for individual assistance can be found below.
In August, joint assessment teams from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reviewed damage in the four counties. In Lake County, the teams identified more than 3,200 homes that were damaged, including 244 homes with major damage and 2,985 with less severe damage related to the floods and storms.
Additionally, Lake County worked with local officials and IEMA to collect and submit damage under the Public Assistance (PA) damage assessment process. In the four counties proclaimed a disaster area by Governor Rauner, uninsured damages to public property and other eligible government costs such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair/replacement of damaged public infrastructure related to the disaster amounted to $10.7 million. The State of Illinois threshold for Public Assistance (PA) is $18.3 million (for this one disaster), therefore no federal public assistance for local, county, and state governments, and certain private, non-profit organizations will be available.
The Disaster Declaration Process (for Individual Assistance) is a multi-step process as seen below.
- Local governments respond to disaster and then move into disaster recover and clean-up
- Local government conducts damage assessment
- Local damage assessment information provided to IEMA
- IEMA determines need for FEMA/IEMA damage assessment
- FEMA/IEMA conduct preliminary more detailed damage assessment with local officials.
- Governor requests Federal Disaster Declaration
- FEMA reviews IEMA’s request for declaration
- President approves or denies a Federal Disaster Declaration
* In November 2017, FEMA denied the request.
- Red Cross hotline: 847-220-7495
- Salvation Army donation hotline: 1-888-369-1349
- Illinois Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has work teams available to provide free hands on help with flood recovery. Once a person fills out a request for assistance, their teams will assess your home and will remove contaminated materials and drywall and sanitize the structure. Call 1-217-622-5101 or email email@example.com for more information.
If your home or personal property was damaged by the flooding, contact your insurance company to determine coverage and start the claim process.
Residents should complete emergency clean-up activities that may include removing water damaged property (carpeting, cabinets, etc.). Once the flood water recedes, contact your local community development or the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department (for unincorporated residents) to inquire about a permit to do additional repairs, such as replacing drywall.
Some local agencies are offering permit fee waivers and/or fast-tracking permits for flood-related repairs. If you live in a municipality, contact your village.
Unincorporated residents that were impacted by the July 2017 flood are eligible for building permit fee waivers for any flood-related repairs, for example, electrical service, furnace or water heater replacements. Residents in unincorporated Lake County can contact the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department at 847-377-2600 for questions and application requirements.
Waste and Debris
For waste and debris collection information, contact your village. If you live in unincorporated Lake County, contact your hauler/waste management services provider.
Lake County has worked with our local community partners to develop options for disposal of sand bags. Each local community evaluated the particular disposal needs and the possible solutions and then developed a plan that best met the needs of their community. Therefore, the County will not be providing dumpsters to impacted neighborhoods. Lake County Public Works is accepting used sand bags from residents. They can be dropped off at the Lake County Public Works Maintenance Facility, 648 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville during business hours.
Wet sandbags are considered to be contaminated by flood waters due to potential for high bacteria levels. Residents should not use this sand in playgrounds or sandboxes. Individuals may also use sand from their sandbags to do limited beach nourishment or landscaping work, but should not fill in wetlands or floodways. Spreading the sand out thinly will allow ultraviolet radiation in sunlight to kill many bacteria and reduce the chances of infection.
During heavy rains and floods, the ground is often saturated, preventing proper operation of septic systems. Waste water from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and ground water. Visit this page for more information on signs that a septic system is not working properly, and precautions you can take.
Flood waters may contaminate wells. Drinking and/or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded is not advised as the well water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants.
Residents on private wells need to have their water tested after floodwaters have receded. The Health Department offers water testing kits to residents whose wells are affected by flooding. For additional information on well water testing, contact Environmental Health Services at (847) 377-8020.
Property Assessment Relief for Flood Victims
Residents who were affected by the flooding may qualify for assessment relief by filling out the Disaster Area Application for Reassessment. Forms can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to the Chief County Assessment Office, 18 N. County St. 7th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085. Make sure to include any supporting documentation if applicable. For more information, contact the Chief County Assessment Office at 847-377-2050 or email@example.com, or your local township assessor’s office.
Lake County Recorder Provides Deeds for Flood Victims
Owners of flood-damaged properties who are seeking financial assistance from Lake County banks and lending institutions will need to show proof of ownership in order to secure loans. The Lake County Recorder's Office will be working closely with government officials and impacted property owners to provide any necessary recorded documents at no cost to flood victims. To obtain a free certified copy of the deed, contact the Recorder of Deeds Office at 847-377-2575. Lake County military veterans in flood-damage areas may also qualify for additional programs. Veterans may contact the Recorder of Deeds Office to obtain a free certified copy of their Military Discharge Papers, commonly known as DD214s, for proof of military service.
Unincorporated Residents Eligible for Flood Insurance Premium Discounts
Property owners residing in unincorporated Lake County may be eligible to save an average of $271 a year on their flood insurance policies. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program, residents within unincorporated Lake County, who meet certain requirements, are eligible for up 20 percent savings on flood insurance premiums. This results in a potential annual total savings of $274,899 overall for residents across the county. Property owners should contact their flood insurance agent to obtain individual savings information. If you live in a village, contact your municipality to see if they participate in the community rating system program.
Be Aware of Flood-Related Fraud
Residents should be aware of the increased risk of scammers attempting to capitalize on those impacted by flooding. Some safety tips include:
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and your insurance company to determine the credibility of the service provider.
- Do not let anybody inside of your home, unless you have initiated the appointment.
- Obtain several (three or more) estimates for repair work.
- Take photographs of your contractor and any work vehicles.
- Before work begins, obtain a written contract.
- If you see or detect anything suspicious, contact your local law enforcement agency.
Check Good Standing of Businesses – IL Secretary of State
Report fraud to the IL Attorney General
Report a scam to the Better Business Bureau