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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich declares disaster in seven threatened counties along Mississippi River and reviews flood preparation efforts
Sent letter to President Bush requesting Direct Federal Assistance Illinois National Guard activated to assist with flood fighting efforts along Mississippi River

QUINCY – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today toured flood preparation efforts in Quincy as that community prepared for high floodwaters that could top the all time highest level set in 1993 within the next few days.  In a letter sent to President Bush today, the Governor requested Direct Federal Assistance to help the communities affected by the flooding.  The Governor also announced disaster declarations for Adams, Calhoun, Hancock, Henderson, Mercer, Pike and Rock Island counties allowing the state to expedite assistance needed to help with the flood fight in areas along the Mississippi River.  The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from flooding. 
 
“I have just sent a letter to President Bush requesting Direct Federal Assistance in order to help save lives and protect property. In addition to the state services and resources that we are continuing to dispatch to flood stricken areas, the assistance I have requested would provide drinking water, generators, technical assistance for debris removal and other resources that may be necessary as the flooding progresses,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “I believe that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that adequate response is even beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments, and that this additional federal assistance is essential for the citizens of Illinois.”

The State of Illinois has personnel and assets that can be mobilized to help local government officials with disaster recovery, including such things as boats for evacuations and security patrols, road barricades, pumps, trucks and other heavy equipment and inmate crews to assist with filling sandbags.
 
On Thursday, Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director Andrew Velasquez III and other state officials were in Quincy to meet with emergency management representatives and other local officials on preparations for the anticipated flooding. 
 
“Along with the disaster declaration, I have activated the Illinois National Guard and instructed 200 troops to help communities who are being threatened by rising flood waters,” said the Governor. “We’ve already seen how flood waters have devastated communities in Wisconsin and Iowa and are prepared to respond here in Illinois if the weather situation worsens.”
 
State resources already provided to counties along the Mississippi River include:
 
Adams County
  • IDOC-Requested and on scene 48 inmates to fill sandbags
  •  An IDNR boat patrol is assisting locals by checking on residents along the river and providing security.
  • IDOT is responding with eight 3-ton trucks for sand hauling.
  • IDOT-53,000 bags have been delivered.
  • A generator is being supplied to help power the water treatment facility
 
Calhoun County
  •  IDOT- requested 1000 sandbags
 
Hancock County
  • IDOC-24 inmates will help fill sandbags.
  • IDOT-Building temporary Levee on Route 136 to slow flood waters
 
Henderson County
  • IDOT- Two trucks and two end loaders to assist with moving sand and rock.
  • IDOC-16 inmates to fill sandbags
  • IDNR-two boats and crew assisting with sandbagging
 
Mercer County
  • IDOT- Water pumps(1) 3-ton dump truck to haul sand
  • IDOC- responding with 24 inmates to assist with filling sandbags
  • IEMA- sending Incident Management Teams to assist development emergency management plans
  • IEMA- providing 5-6 rolls of Plastic to be picked up at IDOT yard by county.  Procurement of 50 shovels should be completed today.
 
Pike County
  • 30 inmates have been requested for sandbag filling
 
Rock Island County
  • Preventative sandbagging is already in place and the state stands ready to provide further assistance as requested.
 
“While we’re very fortunate that Illinois hasn’t been hit as severely as some other Midwestern states, we’re prepared to provide these counties with any state assets and personnel they need to respond and recover from an event,” said IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez III.


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