Illinois Gov. Rauner calls Alexander County his ‘number one concern’

A former Alexander County, Illinois Commissioner says recent flood damage could have been avoided. Without a budget, Andy Clarke says homes that were supposed to get bought by FEMA, putting families in less flood-prone areas, are in water.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner toured Alexander County Saturday, calling it the worst flood damage in the state. Rauner says his visit was about safety instead of policy.

Rauner added that there is a “big risk of hypothermia” and people should “honor the request and evacuate.”

Clarke believes the flooding problem in Alexander County is a political one. He estimated more than 140 homes were supposed to be bought out by FEMA, but because of the state’s budget, some of them are underwater. ”They would have already been out of here if he (Rauner) had not frozen the funds for the buyout,” Clark added.

Not to be confused with the FEMA issue, Rauner says whether the state has a budget or not, there was never money set aside for natural disasters. He says the state will ask for federal help.

So far, 9 deaths are confirmed throughout Illinois.  The governor declared 12 counties in the state to be ‘disaster areas’.

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