Unified Area Command Activated in Hardest Hit Communities
Springfield, Ill. – Governor JB Pritzker has issued a second state disaster proclamation for 34 counties along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Additionally, the Governor dispatched the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s (IEMA) Unified Area Command vehicle to Winchester in Scott County where it will establish a State Unified Area Command, or UAC. The UAC will be able to provide coordinated assistance with the response efforts in the entire region. This second proclamation follows the governor activating the Illinois National Guard to engage in levee reinforcement and monitoring.
“The State of Illinois will continue to respond and support communities hard hit by historic flooding,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Hundreds of state and local roads and bridges have been closed, both residential and commercial properties have been impacted, and local resources have become exhausted. I have directed agency heads in my administration to provide any resources needed to these communities to protect the lives of Illinois residents.”
Both the Mississippi and Illinois rivers reached major flood stage in March and have remained at those levels continuously. Levees along both rivers are saturated and could be breached or overtopped at any minute. And with more rain in the forecast, flood-fighting efforts will continue to be critical to protect the health, life, and safety of Illinoisans. This emergency proclamation will ensure continued state support, including 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers, to help communities battling floods.
The disaster proclamation covers the following counties: Adams, Alexander, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Jackson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Madison, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Putnam, Randolph, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, St. Clair, Tazewell, Union, Whiteside, and Woodford.
All sites from New Boston downstream to Cape Girardeau along the Mississippi River are expected to reach their top five all-time crests. On May 2, 2019, the Mississippi River reached an all-time record crest at Rock Island of 22.7 feet, surpassing the historic flood levels of the Great Flood of 1993. The Illinois River at Valley City is expected to top the current record flood level set in 1943.
“We strongly urge residents in flooded areas to get out now,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency Acting-Director, Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “While your home may not be flooded, the road to get to the hospital may be washed out, or the lines providing power may be down for days. Pack a bag with essentials such as clothes, medicine, and other necessary items. Be sure to consider all members of your family, including your pets, and to follow instructions from your local emergency management officials.”
State assistance to date includes:
Department of Transportation
- IDOT personnel, trucks and equipment deployed to deliver sandbags, plastic, pumps, and hoses to communities for flood fighting efforts
- Conducting flyovers of flooded areas for situational awareness
Department of Corrections
- Crews assisting with sandbagging efforts in several communities
Department of Natural Resources
- DNR boats and conservation police officers have assisted with home and medical evacuations, transportation, river rescues, missing person searches and other flood-related responses
Illinois National Guard
- 200 National Guard soldiers deployed with another 200 on stand-by
Illinois State Police
- Continue to assist motorists and local public safety agencies with flood-related issues
Department of Public Health
- Assisting local health departments with tetanus vaccine
- Monitoring situations at hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities affected by flooding
American Red Cross
The governor issued the first State Disaster Proclamation on May 3, 2019 to ensure state support to communities that are battling floods caused by weeks of elevated river levels and heavy rains. Information related to the current flood event and flood safety is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.