Refused To Answer Media Questions regarding Flood Mitigation

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Jersey Board Chair Becomes Invisible To Media During Flood Crisis

Jersey Board Chair Becomes Invisible To Media During Flood Crisis

JERSEYVILLE - While Madison County Board Chair Kurt Prenzler has actively sought government assistance and provided press releases or updates to news outlets without requests, the

Jersey County Chair, Don Little has refused to answer an email with detailed questions regarding his or Jersey County Board actions regarding the flood emergency

Little was emailed the following request for information:

"... some sort of information or quote regarding what affirmative steps that the county board has taken to assist in mitigating the issues relating to the Nutwood levee.

What state offices and officials have you contacted to obtain immediate assistance in raising the height of the levee? What was their detailed response?

Who have you reached out to in order to get national guard assistance? What was their response?"

The request also contained the following:

"Residents are looking for concrete information that they can rely on and Facebook/Twitter/Instagram are not reliable nor always factual.

I'm sure you understand the importance of a detailed response."

Little has yet to respond.

If the Nutwood levee fails, the impact to the region will be immense. If the water breaches the levee, a main and vitally important transportation route will be out of commission for months. The effects of this will ripple through the local community and may ultimately cause loss of life due to the longer response times that emergency personnel will be faced with. While much emphasis has been on saving individual homes and businesses in the flood plain, not putting enough resources to maintain the levee may be catastrophic to life and property.

Earlier today, the Jersey County Sheriff's Department advised that a voluntary evacuation was in place for the Nutwood and Rosedale area.

Also today, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster declaration that includes Jersey, Calhoun and Madison counties and activated the Illinois National Guard to help as heavy rains continue to cause flooding in areas throughout the state.

"This is a grave situation and this administration is using every tool at our disposal to keep people safe," Pritzker said at a news conference Thursday. "Every relevant state agency is working in concert to protect all of our communities."

The governor said the Illinois National Guard would help where needed. 

This morning, I activated the 200 members of the Illinois National Guard to regions along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to assist in sandbagging operations and levee monitoring and reinforcement, with another 200 on standby," he said.

Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 123 Field Artillery Regiment began reporting to their units in Milan, Galesburg and Springfield on Thursday.

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, thanked the governor for taking action. He said flooding in the Illinois and Mississippi river valley throughout his district has been at a critical stage for some time. He also thanked many others who have helped amid the flooding.

"Most importantly, I would like to thank the volunteers, first responders, and local officials who have spent countless hours flood-fighting," Davidsmeyer said in a statement. "I also want to thank the Department of Corrections, Department of Emergency Management for their support. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone as we work to protect our families and neighbors."

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