State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and Mike Sutfin, Ottawa’s Building and Zoning Official, led a conference call this morning with members of the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance (IVFRA) in response to the flood event occurring now along the Illinois and Fox Rivers.
The call included officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, certified floodplain managers, emergency response personnel with LaSalle and Grundy Counties, among others.
“Everything that we have planned for in the past several years, is now coming together and is allowing communities along the rivers to communicate in ways they have never been able to communicate before,” Rezin said. “Several communities in the district have already begun a voluntary evacuation, potentially moving to a mandatory evacuation, depending on how high the rivers rise. If you are driving and you come along a road that is flooded, remember the saying, ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ While we can’t guarantee that everyone will stay dry, we can say we are better prepared now than we were several years ago. Please be safe.”
In 2013, Sen. Rezin helped establish IVFRA. The IVFRA brings communities, local governments, and emergency personnel together to help them prepare for flood events through education, communication, and the purchasing of flood protection materials. The IVFRA includes LaSalle, Grundy, Bureau, and Putnam counties. As a direct result of Senator Rezin’s involvement in forming the IVFRA, there are now more than 24 new Certified Floodplain Managers in the 38th Senate District.
The 38th Senate District has about 130 miles worth of river frontage, one of the most in the state. Ottawa alone is the watershed for 12,000 square miles. The state of Illinois has the largest collection of inland bodies of water and rivers in the continental United States. Twelve percent of surface in Illinois is mapped as a flood plain.
For more information on Sen. Rezin’s Flood Alliance: IL Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance