SPRINGFIELD (Feb. 23, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a state disaster proclamation for Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties. The declaration will ensure state support to communities that are battling floods caused by heavy rains earlier this week.
Governor Rauner toured flooded areas in the City of Watseka Thursday night and met with residents who have been evacuated from their homes.
“I am impressed with the strength of the those who have been forced out of their homes and the volunteers who make sure they have essential needs,” said Gov. Rauner. “We must continue to stand together during times of emergency and provide continued support and assistance as these communities fight the rising floodwaters.”
The Governor also directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield to coordinate state personnel and assets needed to help local officials keep residents safe and protect critical infrastructure.
IEMA is receiving weather forecast updates and river stage predictions and staff is in close contact with emergency management officials throughout the state.
To assist with these efforts, the Department of Natural Resources has provided two boats to support flood patrols in Watseka. Works crews from the Illinois Department of Corrections are installing flood gates in Hardin County, and the Illinois Department of Transportation is handling delivery of the pumps, hoses and sandbags.
More heavy rainfall is in the forecast this weekend in southeastern and southern Illinois.
For that reason, IEMA’s acting director, Jennifer Ricker, is reminding people to use caution when driving in flooded areas.
“Flooded roads can be dangerous, even deadly, so the best advice is always to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown,’” Ricker said.
Information related to the current flood event and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.