Durbin Expected to Visit Southern Illinois on Wednesday to Survey Flood Control Efforts
Senator briefed by federal and state officials earlier today
[SPRINGFIELD, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is planning to visit Southern Illinois on Wednesday to consult with federal, state, and local officials on their ongoing flood preparation and control efforts. Earlier today, Durbin was briefed by federal and state officials on the threat of severe flooding due to heavy rainfall over the last few weeks which has caused waters levels to rise dramatically along the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
“I commend Governor Quinn for quickly directing state emergency personnel and resources to Southern Illinois communities. Officials are working around the clock to ensure the safety of residents and do all they can to protect property in the region.
“My thoughts are with all affected families and individuals, particularly those in Cairo, Brookport and Grand Tower who are being asked to evacuate their homes. I will continue to work closely with federal, state and local officials to ensure that every resource is made available to communities along the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and other affected areas.”
The Ohio River is expected to crest at just over 60 feet, but as more rain is predicted for the region over the next few days, that level may rise. If waters levels rise as predicted, the previous record of 59.5 feet set in 1937 would be surpassed. As of the time of the briefing, residents in the towns of Cairo, Brookport and Grand Tower have been asked to voluntary evacuate their homes and business in anticipation of the rising waters. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi and Illinois River levels are high in the Metro East region, but the gates, drains and pumps are working normally and the levee systems are operating as designed.
Participants on today’s call include: the Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Jonathan Monken; the Adjutant General of the Illinois National, William Enyart; the Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, Colonel Vernie Reichling; the Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District, Colonel Thomas O’Hara; the Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District, Colonel Shawn McGinley; and the Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District, Colonel Keith Landry.
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