State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) along with officials from several communities along the Illinois River, like Ottawa and Marseilles, spoke at the Illinois State Resiliency Academy in Springfield on August 11 about the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance (IVFRA). Sen. Rezin discussed the IVFRA’s successes as well as how it can be used as a model for other regions of the state and other parts of the country.
“Our first goal when we started this alliance was to have every community in the region have a certified flood plain manager,” Rezin said. “I am proud to say we now have 24 certified flood plain managers throughout my district. Communities up and down the Illinois and Fox Rivers are now on the same page. There is more communication, better standards are in place, and flood ordinances are being enforced. All of this helps us better fight flooding as a region, which saves lives and infrastructure.”
The IVFRA is currently competing for a one billion dollar federal grant. In July, at the IVFRA’s quarterly meeting, Mike Sutfin, Ottawa’s building and zoning official, announced that the IVFRA is in phase two of the grant competition, which is sponsored by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. While several other areas in Illinois are in competition for the grant, it is the IVFRA that the state has chosen to partner with.
“If we can receive even some of this grant, it will be huge for our region,” Rezin said. “Whether it’s building up our levees, purchasing homes and other structures in designated flood plains, or purchasing new flood fighting materials, continuing to be proactive will only help us in the long run. I am so thankful for all those involved in this Alliance, as other communities are taking note of our successes and following our lead.”
To see and hear more about the IVFRA and the federal grant application, check out this video (you may use this video/soundbites in your publication/radio station)
About the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance:
In 2013, Senator Rezin helped establish the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance. The IVFRA brings communities, local governments, and emergency personnel together to help them prepare for extreme weather events, especially floods, through education, communication, and the purchasing of flood prevention materials. The IVFRA includes LaSalle, Grundy, Bureau, and Putnam counties.
The 38th Senate 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.
The state of Illinois has the largest collection of inland bodies of water and rivers in the continental United States.
12% percent of surface in Illinois is mapped as a flood plain.