Release of funds frozen by governor could have averted flood losses

ALEXANDER COUNTY, Ill. — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner toured Alexander County Saturday, calling it the worst flood damage in the state. Rauner says his visit was about safety instead of policy.  Rauner added that there is a “big risk of hypothermia” and people should “honor the request and evacuate.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner

But a former Alexander County Commissioner says recent flood damage could have been avoided. Without a budget, Andy Clarke says homes that were supposed to get bought by FEMA, putting families in less flood-prone areas, are in water.

Clarke believes the flooding problem in Alexander County is a political one, and he estimates more than 140 homes were supposed to be bought out by FEMA, but because of the state’s budget, some of them are underwater. According to Clarke, those families would have already been out of here if Raune had not frozen the funds for the buyout.

Not to be confused with the FEMA issue, Rauner says whether the state has a budget or not, there was never money set aside for natural disasters. He says the state will ask for federal help.

So far, 10 deaths are confirmed throughout Illinois. The governor declared 12 counties in the state to be ‘disaster areas’.
The bodies of two Taylorville teenagers that went missing on Monday, December 28 have been recovered. 18-year-olds Devan Everett and Brandon Mann were last seen on the evening of the 29th when they left Mann’s residence.

Rescue crew located Everett’s body on Friday, January 1 at approximately 8:30am. He was found in the flooded South Fork River, which is in rural Christian County. The search continued for Mann, who was found Sunday. The truck that Mann and

Everett had been in was also found nearby. The truck was pulled out of 17 feet of water on the evening that Everett was found.
Authorities believe that their vehicle was swept off the road by floodwaters.