Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D-Chicago), Rep. André Thapedi (D-Chicago) and a coalition of community organizations have joined together to call on Gov. Pat Quinn to provide immediate relief to flood victims. At a press conference held in Austin Sunday, they urged the governor to do more to help West Side residents.
“We praise Gov. Quinn for his immediate attention to the recent flood on July 24th which devastated many families in Illinois,” said Rep Ford. “Gov. Quinn’s request and ongoing push for FEMA’s assistance for families hit by the recent flood is responsible. We support and urge Gov. Quinn to not only wait for the action of FEMA but to help Illinois’ families now!”
“As a result of the flood, many families have lost everything, and they cannot continue to wait for our region to be declared a disaster area,” Ford said. “These are the moments when government must be actively engaged to help families in need. As was provided to two Western suburbs after the flood, I urge Gov. Quinn to extend assistance to flood victims in areas hit the hardest.”
Jacqueline Reed, president of Westside Health Authority, said, “Many of our seniors in Austin continue to be plagued with stagnant water and mole in their basements. Face masks and other supplies are needed, while we are mobilizing neighbors and “Put Illinois to Work‟ employees to clean the debris. Many remain homeless as a result of this flood, the need is urgent.”
Added Bob Vondracek of the South Austin Coalition Community Council, “There are a lot of things we can do to help people in addition to receiving FEMA dollars. We can utilize people, block clubs, and government agencies to help clean up basements, remove molded walls and debris from alleyways. Every day we don‟t deal with this issue will cause more health problems for our children, adults and seniors.”
Chicagoan Janda Hopkins said last month’s floods left her home so damaged that she’s now homeless. Sunday’s press conference was held outside her Austin home in the 5100 block of Wabansia.
“My neighbor who lives next door has similar flood damage, and has a respiratory disease. We need the city, state and federal government to declare this a disaster area.”