Although the flood waters are beginning to recede, Illinois continues to be plagued by flooding triggered by heavy rains during the last week of 2015. The Governor added 11 new counties to the list of State Disaster Areas on Jan. 5, bringing the total to 23 counties. These counties are now eligible for state assistance to battle flood waters and support their local communities. Resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks, inmate crews, and other assistance to ensure public safety.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Legislative Liaison Erik Murphy said the agency is briefing local authorities on the assistance available for public entities and individuals. IEMA is also in the preliminary stages of disaster assessment with an eye toward eligibility for federal assistance if flooding damages warrant assistance. Murphy expects the disaster assessments to continue over the next several weeks.
The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield remains in operation. It was first activated Dec. 28 to coordinate the state’s flood response. IEMA also manages a public website that is a great resource for updates on severe weather situations across the state and to find assistance and preparedness information. The READY ILLINOIS website is www.ready.illinois.gov.