Illinois Emergency Management Agency is initiating sandbagging operations to assist communities along the Illinois River with flood fighting efforts. The National Weather Service is forecasting major river flooding over the next several days for portions of the Illinois River, as well as moderate to minor flooding along nine other rivers in Illinois.
“This morning, I issued a State Disaster proclamation to support Grundy, Pike, Scott, and Morgan Counties in their fight against floods.” Gov. Pritzker said to start his COVID-19 daily briefing this afternoon.
At least 60 members of Illinois National Guard have been deployed to assist in flooding responses in the areas. The declaration will ensure state support to communities that are shoring up local levees to protect communities from rising river levels.
“I have directed all agencies in my administration to doing everything possible to help local communities prepare for and respond to the potential flood risks presented in the current forecast,” said Gov. Pritzker. “COVID-19 has altered every facet of our lives, and that includes how we respond to emergencies or disasters. Our public safety agencies are working together to provide guidelines that limit potential exposures and keep everyone safe.”
According to the National Weather Service, the Illinois River at Meredosia is projected to reach major flood stage (24ft) on Saturday morning and continue to rise through mid-week. Without additional flood protective measures, several levees can overtop and roads can flood near the river. In Meredosia, the village’s 980 residents could be in jeopardy of losing their homes and lives.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will be assisting local authorities by delivering truckloads of sand and filled sandbags to the affected areas. All drivers have been instructed to wear appropriate PPE while working in a flood operation environment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.