SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Gov. JB Pritzker activated about 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers on Wednesday for active duty to help with state flooding operations.
The guard will assist in sandbagging operations and levee monitoring and reinforcement along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. An additional 200 guardsman are on standby.
Pritzker issued a disaster declaration for 34 counties. The guard began reporting to their units in Milan, Galesburg and Springfield on Thursday and will deploy to the affected areas on Friday.
Alicia Tate-Nadeau, acting director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said she has been in contact with National Guard leaders throughout the state’s flood response.
“The National Guard is an important part of the overall state emergency response team,” Tate-Nadeau said. “As a retired National Guard general, I’m well aware of the great capability that the Guard brings to the fight. They are professionals in both their state and federal military missions.”
Pritzker is activating a small team of Illinois National Guard planners to increase the Illinois Emergency Management Agency staff.
The governor also urged all residents in affected communities to listen to the directions of first responders.