[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the City of Gurnee has been awarded a $2,428,463 grant for from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood protection efforts in Gurnee, Illinois. The funding will be used to purchase and remove the old Gurnee Elementary School which has been damaged beyond repair by repeated flooding. The property will be returned to green space, allowing flooding from the Des Plaines River to occur without damage to property. Plans are currently underway for the construction of a new school.
"Gurnee’s almost 25 year effort at increasing the floodplain has yielded positive results," said Durbin. "This additional assistance from FEMA will help Gurnee continue that effort and protect the community from future flood damage and the repair costs that come with it."
In the autumn of 1986, Gurnee suffered from the most devastating flood in its history. Since then, Gurnee has taken steps to lessen flood damage through a wetlands restoration project and a series of property acquisition projects. According to FEMA, the restored wetlands and removal of properties within the floodplain played a large role in delaying flood waters and reducing flood heights in August 2007.
Today's grant was awarded through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.