Bloomington residents still cleaning up after heavy rain

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Volunteers in the twin cities are finishing assessments of flood damage in the area following flash floods and heavy rain in June.

The McLean County Emergency Management agency submitted its findings to the state and is now waiting to hear what, if any, assistance they will receive.

Neighbors in Bloomington’s Eastgate neighborhood are continuing to clean up nearly three weeks after the storms in late June after heavy rains overwhelmed sewer systems in Bloomington’s older neighborhoods. Neighbors said most of the damage was caused by sewage waste.

Kurt Holland a Bloomington resident said he has insurance, but most everything in his basement was a total loss.

“We just got our basement re-done and the damage took all of our waterproof tile and two rooms of luxury carpeting,” Bloomington Resident Kurt Holland said.

Holland said many on his block are dealing with sewage in their homes, leaving them helpless.

“I’m talking uncontrollable water going up your toilet and your bathtub to where you’re sitting at the stairs looking in desperation,” Holland said.

Holland said they also have to check the basement for Asbestos.

Holland’s neighbor Tina Sipula said she lost furniture, carpeting, and irreplaceable heirlooms, but she and her husband are still cleaning up the mess.

“Just to get a restoration team out here to disinfect is $6000, and they’re not cleaning anything,” Sipula said.

Their homes in Bloomington’s Eastgate neighborhood were built in the 1950s, and the sewer systems are out of date. Sipula said it’s time the City of Bloomington puts more work into separating sewers in areas of the city that need it the most.

“We’ve all had tremendous damage, and most of it is backup from the sewer because the city has not taken the means to separate the sewer system,” Sipula said.

Bloomington’s Public Work’s Director Kevin Kothe said this is an issue on their radar. He said it’s part of the city’s Locust/Colton Combined sewer overflow project which is being completed in four phases.

“That area has plans to separate that. Obviously, the work isn’t completed yet, it takes years to get it all lined out,” Kothe said.

Both, Holland and Sipula spoke at Monday night’s Bloomington City council meeting.

Kothe said once the sewers are separated, homeowners in this area will see the results.

As for damage assessments, the McLean County EMA Director Cathy Beck said It’s now up to the state.

“It is too soon to tell, they scrub the data, and we have to have a minimum of 25 businesses or homes with significant damage,” Beck said.

To be eligible, county damages must be at least $20 million.

The McLean County EMA is hosting a multi-agency resource center this weekend, It has over 50 groups, and is putting people in line with resources they may need including food, clothing, and Insurance. The resource center will be Saturday and Sunday at Bloomington Junior High.

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