Now that the record floodwaters are receding across the stateline area, some homeowners are taking their first steps toward recovery. For most, that means having their properties assessed for damage.
The City of Rockford Public Works and Fire Department were out going door-to-door on Tuesday, giving free assessments to homeowners, while working to dispell any rumors that have been spreading throughout town.
Officials were out at the River View Mobile Home Park, Brown’s Beach and Country Club, where the waters surrounding Betty Hada’s home are going down.
“Oh, I was so happy,” she said, of being able to return to her property at last.
“We’re out here to just check and see what kind of damage has been done, if there is any assistance that the homeowners may or may not need, and if they need any type of inspection on their mechanicals, to go in and do those inspections at no cost,” said Kelly Nokes, the Engineering Operations Manager for Rockford Public Works.
A post circulating on social media recently warned residents not to let the assessors inside their homes because, it said, they were checking to see if the building needed to be condemned.
Officials in Winnebago County and the City of Rockford say that’s not true.
“Any type of information that you might have heard on social media or seen, that is somehow a conspiracy to evict people, or somehow shut down their homes, is untrue,” Nokes stated. “We’re just there to make sure people are safe.”
“The goal of going out and…forcefully evacuating, that is not true at all,” said Rockford Fire Department’s Division Chief Matthew Knott.
Hada welcomed the team to her home.
“I just figured they was down here on our behalf, just to see the damage and assess the damages and stuff, down here,” she said.
As well as offering the free assessments, Knott says they’re doing other services as well to help homeowners.
“[We’re] providing those tools and resources for those families to get back on their feet,” he said. “We’re also providing dumpsters and providing cleaning kits and that’s what our goal is today.”