The following is the content of a press release issued by the office of State Rep. Chris Welch:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Representative Chris Welch (D-Hillside) temporarily closed his Westchester district office due to recent flooding and is encouraging residents to work together during this difficult time. Welch will resume operations from the Westchester village hall next week until after repairs in the district office are completed.
“As we respond to the devastating effects of the storm, it is important to maintain safety in our homes,” Welch said. “I applaud the collective efforts from the local leaders and the members of our communities. Thanks to their quick responses, we were able to prevent further damage in our area.”
Gov. Pat Quinn declared 38 counties state disaster areas including Cook County. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a statement yesterday, warning motorists against driving into flood waters and urged extra caution on the roads. People in Maywood affected by the storm can place damaged items at the front curb or alley, which will be serviced by Allied Waste. River Forest residents can place flood debris at the curb anytime until May 1. The debris will be collected on Wednesday, April 24 and Wednesday, May 1.
“River Forest’s flood response was an outstanding success and incredible effort,” said Michael Braiman, Assistant Village Administrator of River Forest. “Village employees as well as volunteers from CERT, Concordia, Dominican, and Trinity worked tirelessly to keep the river outside of residential areas and avert a much greater disaster.”
Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough is urging local residents to make detailed lists of property damage for a declaration of emergency aid from the federal government. If residents are preparing to throw out damaged property, Yarbrough advises you to take pictures before disposing of it. His message also instructed residents to sterilize everything affected by storm waters due to the combination of storm and sewer water, noting bleach as an effective disinfectant. Anyone that has been displaced due to the storm in Maywood can find temporary shelter at the 200 S. Fifth Ave. building, the old Boys and Girls Club. A Command Center has been established at Fire Station #1 at 7th Ave. & St. Charles Road. Volunteers should call (708) 343-5595 or (708) 450-4881.
In Westchester, large dumpsters have been dispersed throughout residential areas for waste disposal. If you are in need of assistance, Welch recommends calling the Westchester Police Department at (708) 345-0060.
“Unfortunately, these situations can make us vulnerable to con artists that could try to take advantage of flood victims in need of assistance,” said Chief Padalik. “Be cautious of anyone that could fraudulently pose as a public worker or insurance representative looking for opportunities to maliciously get into a residents home or offer services that are really scams. If anyone comes to your door unannounced please call the Westchester Police Department for verification.”
“I want to also thank Governor Quinn for responding to my calls and visiting the 7th District,” Welch said as he began to clean up his District office on Saturday morning.
For a list of road closures, please visit IDOT’s website at http://www.dot.il.gov/road/roadClosures.htm. For more information on flood safety, please visit http://Ready.Illinois.gov/. Anyone needing assistance can also call the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.