CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today surveyed flood damage in several communities in the Fox River Valley see firsthand the devastation caused by several days of severe storms and heavy rainfall across much of Illinois. Governor Quinn also added Knox, Douglas, Livingston and McDonough to his state disaster declaration, bringing to 41 the number of counties that can now get expanded access to state emergency resources and allow the state to formally pursue federal relief and support.
“The past two days I’ve seen up close the terrible impact the flooding has had across Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “As communities across our state continue to face the challenges of this flood, we will continue doing all we can to ensure people are safe and getting the help they need to get through this."
State and local officials had briefed Governor Quinn on the unprecedented flooding along the Fox River Valley, and he wanted to see the situations in person today.
The past two days Governor Quinn has surveyed damage on the ground and met with local officials in Elmhurst, Des Plaines, River Forest, Bellwood, Riverside, Moline, Quincy and Bartonville. Yesterday, he issued a state disaster declaration for 38 Illinois counties. With the three added today, that list now includes Adams, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Douglas, DuPage, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, Mercer, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford Counties.
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. It came after assessments by emergency officials and the governor, and begins the process of securing federal relief.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is working in the affected areas to assess road conditions, help remove debris and offer other assistance to make flood-impacted roads more drivable,” IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider said. “Motorists can visit http://www.dot.il.gov/road/roadClosures.htm
for the latest road condition reports. As always, we advise motorists not to drive through any portion of a road that is covered with water.”
The Department of Transportation is also delivering sandbags, plastic, trucks and drivers to communities to assist with sandbagging; conducting flyovers of flooded areas for situational awareness; providing pumps to Adams, Fulton, Mercer and Henry Counties; and providing guidance to communities on pumping equipment needs. Other state agencies are providing flood response services, including:
Department of Corrections
• Inmate crews are assisting with sandbagging efforts in Quincy, Marseilles, Rushville and Meredosia.
• Inmates are filling sandbags at the Western Illinois Correctional Facility, Jacksonville Correctional Facility, Pittsfield Work Camp and Clayton Work Camp.
Department of Natural Resources
• DNR boats and conservation police officers have assisted with evacuations in DeKalb, Douglas and LaSalle Counties.
• DNR has supplied 12 officers and six boats for flood-related operations.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency
• Provided 40 StarCom radios to the Algonquin Police Department for emergency communications.
• Deployed liaison teams to Quincy and Milan to coordinate response efforts along the Mississippi River.
• Coordinating requests for assistance from affected counties with state resources.
Illinois National Guard
• UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and two crew members assisted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with overflight of the Des Plaines and Little Calumet Rivers to survey integrity of flood control systems and infrastructure.
Illinois State Police
• Continue to assist motorists and local public safety agencies with flood-related issues.
Department of Public Health
• Provided information on tetanus shots to local public health departments, hospitals and medical offices.
• Monitoring situations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities affected by flooding.
Department of Central Management Services
• Procured work gloves for inmate crews assisting with sandbagging.
Governor Quinn activated the State Incident Response Center on Thursday to coordinate the deployment of state personnel and assets to assist local governments in the affected areas. The state’s flood response is coordinated by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.