FOX LAKE, Ill. – Last month's severe flooding continues to impact people in the northern suburbs. Many homeowners and businesses are just now starting to get back on their feet.
When the weather’s good, business for small cities along Illinois lakes and rivers is right there with it. But when it’s bad, it’s really bad.
It was devastating for some because timing in business, as in life, is everything.
“June and July are the two number one months for selling and having fun out here,” Warren Moulis, Fox Lake Marina, said.
Moulis owns three marinas on Fox Lake. One of them had six inches of water in it and fish swimming in the shin-high water in the parking lot.
They couldn't get in the front door for a week and half, and closed for another two weeks to clean up. That meant no gas sales, no boat sales—no real income coming in.
“There is no making it up. Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Moulis said. “We were still pretty fortunate compared to a lot of people we’ve heard their houses, a lot of restaurants were closed also.”
About 200 homes were damaged in Fox Lake alone during last month’s flooding. FEMA inspectors were assessing damage on Tuesday.
Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit said while the flooding damage was bad there is one big reason it wasn't as bad as in years past.
“We were able to get out information much more this time people were very much prepared,” the mayor said.
Still, the flooding cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and clean-up costs.
The mayor also estimates businesses like marinas and restaurants lost 20 to 25 percent of their yearly income.
“The flooding occurred during the prime time of their season they only have four to five months to make their income. It's affected virtually every business in town,” the mayor said.
They’ve made it through floods before, and they know this wasn’t their last one. The town and its businesses will do what they always do—take the good weather with the bad and just hope to see a lot of warm sunny days well into September.
“We just get our feet back up and go, you know, whatever we can,” M said.
The mayor doesn’t think they’ll hit the threshold for state or federal emergency money, which will make it a tough budget year but also goes to show how prepared they were.