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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2009

State Emergency Operations Center activated in response to southern Illinois storms

SPRINGFIELD – The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield was activated this afternoon following severe storms that caused widespread damage throughout several counties in southern Illinois.  The SEOC, which is managed by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), is in communication with emergency management officials in several counties affected by the storms to determine what, if any, state assets are needed to help with the local response and recovery efforts.

“We’re in close contact with our local emergency management partners and stand ready to provide the assistance they need to protect public health and safety,” said IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez III.

Liaisons from several state agencies currently are at the SEOC, including IEMA, the Illinois State Police (ISP), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and the American Red Cross (ARC).

While no requests for state assistance have been received at this time, the state has already taken several actions, including:

• IEMA dispatched staff to several hard-hit counties to work with local officials to assess possible assistance needs.
• ISP has dispatched troopers from adjoining districts to the affected areas to assist with traffic direction and security.
• IDOT crews have been clearing branches and other debris from all state routes in the affected area since mid-afternoon.

Jackson County has established a shelter at the Jackson County Nursing Home and Rehab Center at 1441 N. 14th St. in Murphysboro.



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