MARION – April 28, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today activated an additional 200 Illinois National Guard troops, bringing the total to more than 320 Guard personnel engaged in the state’s efforts to protect citizens and critical facilities from rapidly-rising flood waters. Governor Quinn also commended private companies for donating needed supplies to the flood response.
The Governor made the announcements after he and Lt. Governor Sheila Simon attended a situational briefing at the state’s Unified Area Command in Marion.
“We’re dealing with very serious flooding throughout southern Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “I’ve committed all available state resources to help protect threatened communities and will continue to provide personnel and other assets until the threat has passed.”
The additional 200 Illinois Guardsmen from southern Illinois National Guard companies will perform route reconnaissance, levee surveillance and maintenance and evacuation support in Gallatin and Alexander counties. More than 120 troops were deployed earlier this week to support the flood effort.
“As promised, we stood ready to answer Governor Quinn’s call for additional Illinois Guardsmen. Now we are committed to get more troops on the ground to complete the mission,” said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, Illinois National Guard Adjutant General. “In addition to their military responsibilities, our Soldiers and Airmen are also committed to their careers and families so I am impressed with their rapid response to the governor’s call.”
Governor Quinn lauded private companies for responding to his request for assistance by graciously donating needed supplies to aid in the response effort. The donations include thousands of gallons of bottled water from Target, Wal-Mart and Home Depot, as well as hundreds of work gloves from Wal-Mart and Home Depot. In addition to the National Guard troops, hundreds of state employees from more than a dozen state agencies are engaged in the state’s flood response.
The state has already provided hundreds of thousands of sandbags to local communities and has ordered one million additional sandbags. Inmates at the Tamms, DuQuoin and Dixon Springs correctional facilities have filled more than 80,000 sandbags, while inmate crews have been assisting with sandbagging in several communities. Other resources coordinated by the state include port-a-potties, bottled water, life vests for emergency workers, generators, trucks for transporting assets, pumps, hoses and light stands.
More information about the state’s flood response and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. For information regarding insurance claims related to flooding, visit the Illinois Department of Insurance website at http://insurance.illinois.gov/HomeInsurance/flood.asp or call 866-445-5364.