"Once again, we find ourselves facing
the challenges of nature, this time with floods in Lake and Cook
counties that are expected to exceed historical levels in some
places," Blagojevich said. "The state is providing continual support
to the emergency agencies in both counties, who are doing an
exemplary job battling the rising waters. And we will continue to
provide any assistance they need, whenever they need it."
On Sunday, the Illinois Emergency
Management Agency activated the State Emergency Operations Center in
Springfield to assess the situation and coordinate assets that the
state can provide to assist local responders. Illinois Emergency
Management Agency Director William C. Burke and other staff members
went to the area Sunday to meet with local officials and relay
requests for assistance to the State Emergency Operations Center,
and state officials remained on the scene.
To help with sandbagging efforts, the
Illinois Department of Transportation transported 200,000 sandbags
to the area on Sunday, and an additional 200,000 were being sent to
the area on Monday. Illinois State Police officers are assisting
with traffic congestion caused by closed, flooded roadways.
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The Illinois Department of Natural
Resources has staff working in the area, including officers with
johnboats assisting local officials with patrols. The department's
Division of Water Resources is tracking the rising waters and
precipitation projections to help local and state officials assess
the flood's potential effects.
Residents in these areas are reminded
to use extreme caution near floodwaters, as flooding is the No. 1
killer nationwide in severe weather. Most flood victims are killed
while attempting to drive on a flooded roadway, and a mere 2 feet of
water can carry away most automobiles.
Parents are also advised to keep their
children from playing in or near floodwaters, as rapid currents can
pull them down and carry them away.
Emergency Management Agency officials also ask that people who do
not live in the area stay out of the area so that they do not
endanger themselves and add to traffic congestion.
[News release from the