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  1. Lt. Governor

Gov. Quinn Tours Southern Illinois Flood Zone 

WSIL TV Carterville
Thursday, April 28th
By Emily Finnegan

MARION – Governor Pat Quinn visited Southern Illinois Thursday to tour the flood zone.

During a stop at the Unified Area Command Center in Marion Quinn announced he activated another 200 National Guard troops, many from Southern Illinois. The heads of many of the groups involved in the state's response to the flooding joined Quinn in Marion; the leaders of IEMA, the Illinois National Guard, the Department of Natural Resources and Ameren all took part in the press conference. 

Gov. Quinn urged a theme of cooperation in these difficult times. He says the state has been preparing for this for months and is ready to fight the flood waters.

"We're going to take it on with all of our might," he said, "The people of Illinois are a mighty people, and the people of Southern Illinois in particular know how to come together and work together."

Quinn explains officials are keeping a close eye on the levees, and if necessary, he insists he won't hesitate to order an evacuation. If and/or when that becomes necessary, he urges all residents to listen to the National Guard. 

Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon told News Three authorities are focused on two levees in particular right now.

"I think Grand Tower is one of the focuses and obviously Cairo. Those are the two that are the focus of a lot of attention and a lot of inspection," Simon said.

Several area lawmakers and mayors from many communities across Southern Illinois were also on hand for the event. After the news conference the governor, lieutenant governor and Rep. John Bradley took a helicopter tour and made a stop in Olive Branch to see some of the flooding firsthand. 

"I think we've done everything possible. We activated our command center there on Tuesday, deployed the National Guard. We're ready to go," the governor said.

Quinn cites early flood forecasts with helping the state prepare and stockpile sandbags and other materials; those were immediately available in recent weeks as flood waters began to rise.