METROPOLIS – May 9, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today said the state will move as quickly as possible to seek federal assistance to help people in southern Illinois recover from recent flooding. During his third visit to flood-ravaged southern Illinois since April 28, Governor Quinn also thanked responders, Illinois National Guard troops and volunteers for their efforts to protect lives and communities.
On Monday afternoon, Governor Quinn toured residential and business areas of Metropolis that have been severely impacted by flooding along the Ohio River. Governor Quinn also met with city and county officials to discuss the flood’s impact and plans for recovery.
“Flood waters are beginning to recede, but the state is already working aggressively to seek federal assistance for people whose lives have been impacted by the flood,” said Governor Quinn. “Thanks to the dedication of our Illinois National Guard troops, state and local responders and volunteers, we have helped communities battle one of the worst floods to ever hit this region. We will tackle the recovery process with that same determination.”
Last week, officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) contacted local emergency management representatives in affected counties to request information about the number and locations of homes damaged by flooding. IEMA representatives are helping local officials compile that information, which is due to IEMA by May 12. The initial damage information is needed to ensure that assessment teams are aware of all areas where homes suffered damage.
The teams, which include personnel from IEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local emergency management agencies, are expected to begin on-site damage assessments on May 16. The information gathered by the teams is essential for supporting the state’s request for federal assistance.
“It’s important that we conduct a very thorough assessment of the damage to ensure that our request is as strong as possible,” said IEMA Director Jon Monken. “Our assessment teams will work quickly to gather that information, and we will do everything within our power to get the federal assistance needed to help people put their lives back together.”
Governor Quinn said more than 450 Illinois National Guard troops, 1,000 state responders and countless volunteers were critical to efforts to hold back flood waters and save lives in 11 southern Illinois counties. With flood waters receding in most areas and requests for assistance declining significantly, many of those involved are beginning to return to their regular duties. However, Governor Quinn said the state will continue to support flood response in the area for as long as needed.
With river levels still above flood stage in many parts of southern Illinois, Governor Quinn also emphasized the importance of listening to local officials and staying out of evacuated areas until they are deemed safe for return.
More information about the state’s flood response and recovery tips is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.