SPRINGFIELD – April 26, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today activated the Illinois National Guard to support flood-fighting and life safety missions in southern Illinois. The initial activation includes up to 125 Guardsmen who are deploying to Marion to assist the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) with emergency response planning. Additional troops may be activated if needed.
“The Illinois National Guard is a valuable asset to the state during disasters,” said Governor Quinn. “During the February snow storm, the men and women of the Guard helped save many lives and I am very grateful for their assistance during the flooding.”
“The Illinois National Guard fully supports Governor Quinn’s activation of our Guardsmen for flood relief,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General. “These Guardsmen are fully trained and motivated to assist in this mission to ensure Illinois citizens are safe from harm’s way. As always, we stand ready to answer the call for additional support if needed.”
Governor Quinn has received frequent updates on the situation from IEMA Director Jonathon Monken and today visited the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield where he was briefed on the current flood outlook and the state’s assistance efforts. Representatives from more than a dozen agencies and organizations are working in the SEOC to assure a coordinated response of state assets and personnel to communities affected by flooding.
Also attending the SEOC briefing today were state Reps. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), Dan Reitz (D-Steeleville) and Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro).
Governor Quinn on Monday issued a disaster proclamation to ensure state resources are readily available to support local governments affected by a series of severe storms that have affected southern Illinois during the past two weeks.
State assistance provided to southern Illinois communities includes more than 210,000 sandbags, 89 rolls of plastic, two inmate crews from the Illinois Department of Corrections, several barricades and generators. In addition, inmates at four Illinois Department of Corrections facilities filled more than 6,000 sandbags that were transported to communities by trucks from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
On Tuesday, IEMA deployed the agency’s Unified Area Command vehicle to Marion, which will enable representatives from several state and local agencies to work together on a coordinated response.
Earlier this spring, IEMA pre-positioned 325,000 sandbags and 200 rolls of plastic at an IDOT facility in Carbondale to facilitate quick deployment if floods threatened.
More information about the state’s flood response and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.