Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Cuyahoga County due to severe storms that left damage and flooding in their wake on July 20.

The move is a first step in obtaining a disaster declaration from Ohio. If the state declares Cuyahoga County a disaster area, then the hardest-hit communities could then become eligible for reimbursement for certain storm and flood-related expenses.

According to a written release from FitzGerald's office, "Based on the type and extent of damage that has been sustained in Cuyahoga County, it is not expected that individual residents or homeowners will qualify for assistance. Local governments, however, may become eligible for reimbursement for flooding-related repairs or other costs."

On Tuesday, Lake County approved a local emergency declaration for that county.

Much of the county, especially the western end were flooded with torrential rains. To date, the Red Cross says it has completed damage assessments on 1500 homes with many more homes and businesses to go.