WINCHESTER, IL (WGEM) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker toured the flood zone in Scott County Tuesday.
The governor also held an operational briefing at the State’s Unified Area Command (SUAC) in Winchester, Illinois.
Pritzker was joined by Illinois Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osmen, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan and Director of the Illinois National Guard Joint Staff Michael Glisson, and other state and local leaders.
Pritzker said that he had activated an additional 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers for State Active Duty to engage in the state’s active flood fight along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
He added that in all, more than 400 guardsmen are reinforcing the state’s efforts to fight raging floodwaters as more precipitation takes aim on river communities.
“The State of Illinois will use every resource at its disposal to protect our residents and our communities from devastating floods,” said Pritzker. “As we continue to strengthen our levees in west-central Illinois, we must also plan and prepare for this force of nature to move downstream to our southern Illinois communities. These soldiers will help not only bolster our current numbers on the ground, but allow us to pre-position key assets in downstream communities to prepare for what’s to come in the days ahead.”
Pritzker, state and local leaders along with the national guard, emergency management officials, and other elected officials have pulled together to do everything they can.
“You know, mother nature, like I said, is relentless, so we’ve got to be relentless working together to fight and make sure that we are keeping people safe,” said Pritzker.
Also during the briefing, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan urged farmers to report any losses due to flooding to their Federal Insurance Agent as soon as possible. Sullivan added that there are critical federal insurance deadlines that are fast approaching.
The governors office reported Tuesday that to date, the state of Illinois has provided more than three million sandbags, more than 2,700 rolls of plastic, 27 pumps and five dozen Illinois Department of Corrections offenders to assist local communities as they fight rising floodwaters and protect the state’s critical infrastructure.