June 26, 2015
Continuing Support to Coal City, Sublette Following Tornadoes
SPRINGFIELD – Heavy rains over much of Illinois in recent weeks has caused already-swollen rivers and streams to spill over their banks, creating flood issues for communities across Illinois. As a result, the state of Illinois is providing assistance to communities working to protect critical infrastructure from flooding, as well as supporting ongoing recovery efforts in northern Illinois areas hit by several tornadoes Monday evening.
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), which activated Monday evening to coordinate response to 10 confirmed tornado touchdowns in northern Illinois, continues to be manned with liaisons from several state agencies that have personnel and resources available to assist with both tornado and flood efforts.
“Mother Nature dealt us a tough blow with these recent tornadoes and heavy rainfall,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director James K. Joseph, whose agency coordinates state response efforts. “With the many resources and personnel available through state agencies and our partners, we’ve been able to provide assistance to multiple communities affected by flooding and tornadoes.”
Flood response efforts are on-going and include the following actions to date:
- Sandbags, sand, plastic, shovels and gloves for sandbagging operations.
- Offender crews from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) have assisted with filling and placing sandbags in Meredosia, Frederick and several locations in Scott County.
- Offenders at Jacksonville and Western Illinois Correctional Centers, the Pittsfield Work Camp and the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Rushville Transitional Detention Facility are filling sandbags at their respective facilities. To date, these crews have filled more than 25,000 bags.
- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) trucks are delivering sandbagging supplies to the correctional facilities, as well as delivering filled sandbags to communities.
- IDOT also has delivered several pumps and hoses to Brookport, Pearl, Pekin and Scott County.
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation police provided security and rescue assistance to local law enforcement.
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) is coordinating with local officials to help ensure continuity and safety of public drinking water supplies.
State support to tornado-impacted communities is also continuing. IEMA regional coordinators have been working with local emergency management officials since tornadoes raked across northern Illinois Monday evening to coordinate requests for state resources and personnel.
State resources provided for tornado response and recovery efforts include:
- Deployment of the 80-member Task Force 1 search and rescue team to the Woodhaven Lakes Campground and Resort near Sublette, which completed more than 1,000 searches of residences and vehicles.
- Light towers to enable night time searches.
- A mobile Unified Command Post to support local operations.
- 20 STARCOM interoperable radios to enhance emergency communications.
- Message sign boards to Coal City.
- Informational materials about wind-resistant construction techniques and tornado safe rooms are being provided to libraries in Coal City as a resource for people rebuilding or repairing their homes.
- IEPA is assisting with damage assessments and hazardous waste identification.
- Illinois Department of Public Health coordinated the donation of 100 doses of tetanus serum to the Grundy County Public Health Department.
- Illinois State Police is providing security assistance to Coal City law enforcement.
In addition, a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) will be open Friday-Sunday in Coal City to provide convenient access to local and state resources available to assist people impacted by the tornado. The state departments of Human Services and Insurance and the Secretary of State’s office will be participating in the MARC to provide services and information to help people recover.