* From the Tribune earlier this afternoon…
Even as parts of the Chicago area clean up from torrential rains that deluged waterways, streets and basements, the worst could still be yet to come for some areas as stormwater flowing from the north could bring with it record flooding in the coming days.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that unprecedented water levels flowing downstream from Wisconsin are expected to cause problems in northern Illinois in the coming days — even if there’s no additional rainfall.
“Flooding of this magnitude has not been seen before,” a statement from the department warned. [Emphasis added.]
* From Twitter…
* You would think the governor’s new crack PR team would be all over this. As the old saying (from Gov. Rauner himself) goes: “Crisis creates opportunity.” Yeah, he just vetoed the budgets for IEMA, ISP and IDNR, so that might be tough to explain, but I doubt any local reporters will bring it up.
As a former Rauner staffer said today, going to Lake County would allow Rauner to look like he’s “in control” and “gubernatorial,” and could help deflect questions about his recent staff hires.
The governor has only one event on his schedule today, an appearance this afternoon with the First Lady at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital (no media availability, by the way). But even if he wants to avoid Lake County to let people do their work, he hasn’t sent out any statements about the flooding, even though Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital was evacuated yesterday. I mean, he hasn’t even mentioned the floods on his Twitter page.
…Adding… As a buddy of mine points out, he could also just fly over the area in the state helicopter.
* To give you an idea of the usual protocol, this is what the governor’s office sent out on May 1st…
Governor Rauner this morning activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Springfield to ensure state personnel and equipment are ready to be quickly deployed if needed to help local emergency responders with flooding-related public safety issues in several areas of the state.
“Several inches of rain has caused our rivers to swell, which has caused flooding in some communities. In order to expedite any state assistance to protect residents and critical infrastructure, I activated the State Emergency Operations Center with personnel from several key agencies to quickly react to any requests,” said Governor Rauner.
Representatives from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Illinois State Police (ISP), the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Department of Public Health, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the American Red Cross (ARC) have reported to the SEOC to coordinate deployment of state resources and personnel to assist communities preparing for or already battling floodwaters.
Nothing like that was issued either today or yesterday as far as I can tell.
Shortly before 3 o’clock, I asked the governor’s office whether the State Emergency Operations Center had been activated and what else the governor is doing. I delayed this post for an hour to allow them time to respond. I’ll let you know if they ever reply.
…Adding… From a “senior Illinois Republican leader”…
He’s replaced major leaguers with single A amateurs. What do you expect from them?
*** UPDATE 1 *** From a link posted in comments…
* Gov. Scott Walker called for National Guard in southern Wisconsin to help with flooding cleanup: Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency and called up the National Guard to assist residents in parts of Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties in dealing with flooding after yesterday’s historic rains. Eighty-five National Guard members were helping at various areas in southern Wisconsin, including Burlington, which was heavily flooded.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Mary Ann Ahern tweeted she’s hearing Rauner may show up in Lake County tomorrow, days after the flooding started on Wednesday.