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Flood alliance allows river communities to plan with each other

State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris

A flood alliance of community officials along the Illinois and Fox rivers communicated Wednesday morning via a conference telephone call.
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, and Mike Sutfin, Ottawa’s Building and Zoning Official, led the call, which dealt with response to the flood warnings.
The call included officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, certified floodplain managers, emergency response personnel with La Salle and Grundy counties, among others.
“Everything that we have planned for in the past several years, is now coming together and is allowing communities along the rivers to communicate in ways they have never been able to communicate before,” Rezin said in a press statement. “Several communities in the district have already begun a voluntary evacuation, potentially moving to a mandatory evacuation, depending on how high the rivers rise. If you are driving and you come along a road that is flooded, remember the saying, ‘turn around, don’t drown.’ While we can’t guarantee that everyone will stay dry, we can say we are better prepared now than we were several years ago. Please be safe.”
In 2013, Rezin helped establish the flood alliance. The alliance brings communities, local governments, and emergency personnel together to help them prepare for flood events through education, communication,and the purchasing of flood protection materials, according to a press statement from Rezin's office. 
The alliance meets on a regular basis, not only when flooding occurs. It includes La Salle, Grundy, Bureau and Putnam counties. Out of the alliance, there are now more than 24 new certified floodplain managers in Rezin's district.
Her district has about 130 miles worth of river frontage, one of the most in the state. Ottawa alone is the watershed for 12,000 square miles. Twelve percent of Illinois is mapped out as a floodplain.

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