Two dozen Campbell’s Island homes tagged for damage inspection

CAMPBELL'S ISLAND, Illinois -- Rock Island County inspectors are checking on individual homes to assess the damage left by floodwaters on Campbell's Island. About two dozen homes received a red tag in the past few days on their front doors,  a notice by the county's Office of Zoning and Building Safety, urging homeowners to schedule an inspection.

The notice reads, "Because this building is located in a floodplain and was damaged by flooding, a flood assessment must be conducted by the county."

"Everything that’s been damaged requires a building permit to make repairs to a structure. Part of the ordinance is that if you exceed 50 percent value of the structure itself, then you have to comply with today’s floodplain ordinance. Less than 50 percent, you can just make repairs and move back in," said Greg Thorpe, the director of Rock Island County's Office of Zoning and Building.

For those homes with more than 50 percent damage, homeowners face four choices: They must other flood-proof, elevate or demolish the building, or relocate.

Thorpe said because Rock Island County did not meet the threshold for a federal disaster declaration, there is no FEMA assistance for individuals. Homeowners can apply for an individual buy-out option through the Office of Zoning and Building. Those with flood insurance may be able to get up to $30,000  to help elevate their homes, he said. But Thorpe estimated that 50 percent of homeowners on Campbell's Island do not have flood insurance.

"They are pretty resilient people," he said. "They have lived there for quite a while, they've gone through multiple floods, they have flow-through foundation. Their mortgages are paid off."

"They are used to scraping the muck out of their lower level, hosing it off and moving on with life. There is a smaller percentage of that 50 percent who, water got on their first floor, now they have to comply with the ordinance and probably their only option is demolition."

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