Governor, State Leaders Tour Illinois River Flooding, Urge Residents to be Prepared to Evacuate

Revised Crest Projections Show Rivers Will Remain at Critically High Levels for Several Days, Intensifying Saturation and Pressure on Levees

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker joined officials with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Illinois Natural Guard and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to tour flooding along the Illinois River. The Illinois River remains in moderate to major flood stage from LaSalle to Grafton, and revised crest projections indicate river levels will remain at critically high levels for nearly a week in some places. Emergency Management officials are advising residents in river communities to have a family evacuation-plan in place, in the event you are asked to evacuate due to rising floodwaters.

“Heavy rains and flooding continue to threaten communities across our state and I urge all residents to be prepared,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The state is doing everything we can to provide resources to impacted communities, and we continue to urge Illinoisans to help by listening to authorities, checking on your neighbors, and being prepared to evacuate if necessary. I will continue to closely monitor this situation and we will do everything we can to keep people safe and to help communities rebuild.”
The forecasted river levels along the Illinois River are alarming for many reasons, and the forecast should serve as a warning to residents. The time to prepare for a potential evacuation is now.”

To date, the state of Illinois has provided more than one million sandbags, more than 1,200 rolls of plastic, 38 pumps and more than a dozen offender work crews to assist local communities as they fight rising floodwaters and protect our state’s critical infrastructure. State and local emergency management officials will continue to fortify levees and monitor rivers until the water recedes, but no one can prepare your family for a disaster like you.

“If it is likely your home could flood: Don't Wait, Evacuate,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Flooding has been a factor in 49 deaths across Illinois since 1995. That is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period. Do not let your guard down when it comes to flooding. Please, prepare your families today.”
Emergency management officials are urging residents to be aware of the flood risks in their neighborhood and know the steps to take to keep their family safe in the event of an emergency.

Be ready to evacuate. Have an emergency go bag packed for a quick evacuation. When you want to pack for all members of your family, including your pets. Don’t forget your medications, glasses, cellphones and chargers.

Have more than one way to receive important weather information. Because disasters can occur while you are at home, at school, at work or on vacation, make sure your mobile phone can receive emergency alerts. Monitor television, radio and internet for updates, and where possible, sign up for your community’s emergency alert system.

Safeguard important documents, such as your birth certificate, social security card, insurance policies. Keep these in a waterproof container or save them digitally. These documents will be essential when you return home or begin the recovery process.

Follow instructions of local authorities. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. If you do not have friends or family to assist you with an evacuation, listen to your radio or TV for information on provisions being made to assist those who need housing assistance.

Because families may not be together when an evacuation order comes in, have a family communications plan to ensure everyone has the essential information and knows where to meet up post-evacuation.

Check on your neighbors. During a disaster, 46% of individuals expect to rely on the people in their neighborhood for help within the first 72 hours after a disaster or emergency.

Don’t forget: Turn around, Don’t Drown. Flooding has been a factor in 49 deaths across Illinois since 1995. This is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period. Three out of four flood fatalities involve people in vehicles trying to cross flooded roads.

In an effort to encourage everyone in Illinois is prepared for emergencies, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s public preparedness website, Ready Illinois, is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German, Filipino and more. To learn more about emergency preparedness for all hazards, man-made or natural, visit