SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents are facing flooding in southern sections of the state and freezing rain, ice and high winds in the northern part of the state Monday. The Illinois authorities are cautioning drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible.
“Road conditions are hazardous in many areas of the state, so if you can postpone travel plans today that would be best,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph.
Although Governor Bruce Rauner is out of the country, vacationing with his family over the holidays, the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield was activated Monday morning to ensure state personnel and equipment are ready to be deployed quickly if needed to help local emergency responders as they deal with flooding and winter weather.
Rainfall in the St. Louis metropolitan area had been observed anywhere from 5 to 8 inches by Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service, with another 2 to 4 inches expected by the time the rain tapers off. The deluge drove up the total St. Louis-area rainfall for 2015 over 58 inches, beating the previous record of 57.96 inches set in 2008.
A list of road closures – most in the Madison County area Monday – are listed HERE.
State resources processed to date include water pumps and hoses to Calhoun County; barricades for road closures in the Metro East area; sandbags and plastic for the Big Muddy Levee in Jackson County; and pumps and hoses for Schuyler County. These resources were provided and delivered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The IEMA Director urges residents to avoid travel if possible Monday due to icy roadways in much of northern Illinois and flooded roadways in central and southern Illinois.
“If you must travel, be sure to check on road conditions along your route. And as always, if you encounter water over a roadway, please remember, ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown,’” Joseph said.