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May 15, 2002

Governor Declares State Disaster Area as a Result of Flooding

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today declared the entire state of Illinois a disaster area as a result of flooding that is occurring now and may occur in the future. Forecasts indicate that more rain is predicted in Illinois as early as tomorrow. Excessive rains are already saturating watersheds throughout the state resulting in the flooding of homes, businesses, local roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure.

During the course of the last month, up to10 inches of rain has fallen in some areas and currently the hardest hit areas are along the Sangamon and Illinois rivers. As of today, flood fights are occurring at Horseshoe Lake in Alexander County, on the western approach of the Hardin Bridge in Calhoun County, Beardstown and Chandlerville in Cass County, Bluffdale and Hillview levees in Greene County, the Nutwood Levee in Jersey County, Petersburg in Menard County, Meredosia in Morgan County, Valley City in Pike County, Frederick and Browning in Schuyler County, Bloomfield in Scott County, and Dawson and Riverton in Sangamon County.

“A series of severe storms producing extraordinary amounts of rainfall are contributing to the flooding and flash flooding across the state,” Governor Ryan said. “This disaster declaration provides the necessary state assets to effectively respond to flooding that is occurring and additional flooding that may occur with the rainfall that is projected over the next week. We are hopeful that this series of storms will end soon.”

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is coordinating the state’s response. Assistance is being provided by the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Department of Central Management Services, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the American Red Cross.

This declaration also makes it possible for IEMA to coordinate state assistance and resources wherever necessary, and to conduct damage assessments to determine if additional Federal assistance is needed.


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