Posted June 14, 2008 1:34 PM
by Christi Parsons
Barack Obama will tour flooding in downstate Illinois on Saturday, joining local officials for a briefing and then volunteering at a sandbag station.
The stop was added to the Democratic presidential candidate’s schedule this morning, as residents along the Mississippi River prepare for flooding expected to hit historic levels.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was in Quincy on Friday to declare a pending disaster for seven Illinois counties along the river, projected to crest next week.
Sen. Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin, his fellow Illinois Democrat, joined other members of the Illinois delegation this week in calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help the state get ready.
The expected flood, due to recent heavy rainfall and current storms in Iowa and Wisconsin, is “greater than our capacity to prepare for a disaster of this size,” the lawmakers wrote in their joint letter.
The area suffered a devastating damage in 1993, when flooding isolated some river towns and left crops under water for weeks.
Blagojevich will meet Quincy mayor John Spring and state Sen. John Sullivan to tour the area.
Link to original source of article Chicago Tribune