(Mentor) A Declaration of emergency has been filed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners and the Lake County Emergency Management Agency.

Hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded by an early morning storm on Saturday. In Willowick alone 300 homes have reported flooded basements.

Christine Moran with the American Red Cross says they've been busy doing assessments of property damage from the storms. She says residents with damage are being urged to call the city at 211. You can also find helpful information on the Red Cross's website www.redcross.org and just search flood safety.

She says people don't realize how contaminated flood waters can be. "There's safety issues you should worry about. If any food, even canned items, touches flood waters you should throw it out."

Ken Gauntner with the Lake County Emergency Management Agency says declaring a state of emergency is the first step in a long process. He says assessments need to be done on all the damaged properties which could take a long time.

Several of the homes have flooded basements, which under a new rule don't qualify for emergency funding. Gauntner says Lake County has a certain threshold of property damage that they have to meet. Whether or not they make that threshold determines if Lake County will be eligible for any assistance.
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