Rauner adds Clinton County to list of declared state disasters

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday added Clinton and four other counties to the state disaster declaration for widespread flooding.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner

The other four counties are Alexander, Christan, Douglas and Morgan. This brings the statewide total of declared counties to 12. On Tuesday, Rauner declared disasters in Calhoun, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties.

“While the rains have stopped, we’re continuing to see more communities battling flood waters in order to protect their residents and critical facilities,” Rauner said. “The state of Illinois will continue to support these local efforts with personnel and resources throughout this flood event.”

Rauner will return to Springfield Thursday evening and will spend the following several days in central and southern Illinois viewing flood damage, thanking volunteers and ensuring communities have everything they need. A state disaster declaration makes a wide variety of state resources available that can help communities respond and recover from flooding.

Such resources include sandbags, sand, pumps, trucks and other heavy equipment and other assistance to ensure public safety. The state Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated Monday morning to coordinate the state’s flood response.

The EOC will remain open until the threat has passed. Local emergency crews anticipate local river levels to crest between Thursday and Saturday. St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Director Herb Simmons said emergency crews continue to monitor the Water Street Canal Bridge in Cahokia near the Mississippi River, which was expected to crest in St. Louis at 43.1 feet by 1 p.m.

Thursday. He said the Kaskaskia River is forecast to crest by Saturday. “We’re just monitoring the Kaskaskia at the New Athens area where they predict another 4-foot rise crest,” Simmons said. “We’ve had several citizens from other areas call concerned, and we’re just waiting to see what support we need to give them.”

In Madison County, the county Emergency Management Agency was wrapping up sandbagging along Sugar Alley, at Broadway and State Street in Alton, where the Mississippi River was expected to crest as soon as Thursday.