For many Illinoisans, the normally “dead week” between Christmas and New Year's has been one to remember, and fo rall the wrong reasons.
A Central Illinois Congressman, visiting the state emergency nerve center in Springfield, says the weather has been historic.
“When I say historic, when it comes to my hometown of Taylorville, that's 1977, the year I moved there,” says U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), adding the IEMA receptionist is a neighbor of his with more Taylorville tenure than he has. “We have never seen water levels on the east side of Taylorville, in the South Fork River, that high.”
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Davis praised the efforts of the people of his central and southern Illinois district, as well as those working in the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's State Emergency Operations Center. IEMA director James Joseph says he's no meteorologist, but the weather does seem worse than it used to be. “The weather has been more severe,” he said. “If you'd asked me a year ago, I would never had said between Christmas and New Year's I'd be working a flood event!”
Joseph says while the Mississippi River flooding at Grafton could top 1993 levels, it will hopefully subside more quickly than it did then, too.