Illinois Agencies Urge Residents To Be Safe Around Flood Waters

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) have several flood preparedness tips to keep Illinois residents safe.

More heavy rains are expected to fall this week, and agencies are urging residents to prepare for the dangers posed by flooding.

IEMA recently conducted a conference call with local emergency managers throughout Illinois to coordinate efforts to be prepared for more flooding. IDOT is monitoring weather conditions and will keep motorists informed on any flooding situations. Motorists are reminded to be aware of the possibility of standing water on roadways.

Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn emphasizes how risky driving in flood conditions can be.

“It only takes a few moments for your vehicle to be swept away by flooding. If you come across a flooded section of road, turn around. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. It's not worth the risk,” Blankenhorn says.

Officials say even if a road covered by water seems shallow enough to cross, motorists should not attempt to cross it. Motorists are also advised to not try to save a vehicle stalled in a flood area. Instead, they should seek higher ground.

Residents should avoid contact with flood waters and anything that has been contaminated by flood waters. Coming into contact with any contaminated object could pose risks to residents' health.

IEMA Director James K. Joseph explains, “Flood waters also may contain sewer overflows or harmful chemicals, so it's particularly important to stay out of flood waters.”

Having a boat in flood conditions does not mean a resident is safe. The IDNR says boaters should stay off the water when river levels rise.

IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal advises, “Submerged debris, strong currents and other dangerous conditions may exist. Even the most experienced boaters can get into trouble in conditions like these.”

Additional safety information and updates on situation are available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov or on the Ready Illinois pages on Facebook and Twitter.

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