Illinois governor visits southern Illinois to survey flooding

ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL — Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker is trying to give southern Illinois communities a helping hand with the flooding. He was in Metropolis and Cairo Tuesday to see for himself what the two towns are dealing with.

Pritzker got a taste of the love-hate relationship many southern Illinois communities have with the surrounding rivers. He saw flood sites in Metropolis and Alexander County, but he said he saw much more than the water.

“Illinoisans helping each other are the front line, and they’re doing just an amazing job. I’m so proud. I really am,” said Pritzker.

He said the state has tried to be proactive with this emergency.

“We’ve moved equipment and sandbags and sandbags materials as fast as we could when we saw the river rising,” said Pritzker.

The water in Cairo has risen drastically, but Mayor Tyrone Coleman said the city is doing fine right now. But, he said the city is in desperate need of new pumps. He said he hopes Pritzker left with an understanding of the needs of the community.

“That’s what we survive on levees, flood wall, and pumps. Actually seeing this, I’m sure it’s going to make a difference in how he talks about — and hopefully legislates some funding to come into the areas to take care of some necessary needs of some of the areas we visited today,” said Coleman.

Pritzker promised that the state will not back up until the water does.

“We are not going to leave until this immediate crisis is over. You should all know we are going to be back whenever something happens to this community,” said Pritzker.

The governor also reminded people to never drive through high water or go around any barriers blocking flooded roads.

Sky 6: Metropolis, IL, flooding 2/26/2019

Sky 6: Metropolis, IL, flooding on Johnson and Public Works Street 2/26/2019