State Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) is not usually one to pop off, and he mostly kept his cool when we talked a few minutes ago. But he’s becoming ever more frustrated that the flooded areas of his southeastern Illinois House district are not getting the same attention from the state that the folks across the border in Indiana have received.
Flooded areas of Indiana have already obtained a federal disaster declaration. In contrast, Illinois has yet to declare its side of the border a disaster - a step that has to be completed before the feds can step in.
Also, Indiana’s governor has personally toured the impacted areas on his side of the border. But when Eddy talked to an official with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency he was told that it “doesn’t make any sense for the governor to be down here at this time.”
“The people down here are going to perceive that he just isn’t engaged,” Eddy said of Gov. Blagojevich.
Eddy did say that some localities were getting some much-needed help with immediate concerns, and he said he was very grateful for that. But he added that the paperwork process needs a thorough review. Too much emphasis was being placed on getting local officials to sign off on documents when they were out on the front lines battling the flooding, Eddy said.
“We have a flash flood,” the legislator said, “We need flash paperwork.”
“I don’t know why Indiana can have a declaration in less than a day and now we’re three or four days into this and we’re just seeing this paperwork.”
Eddy represents the district where my family lives in Clark County. He is not at all a partisan hack. It's no wonder even members of Blagojevich's own party are talking about impeaching Gov. Blagojevich. This is a guy who takes time to attend sporting events in Chicago during major legislative impasses rather than meet with lawmakers in the State House in Springfield to work out differences. The flooding situation in the area grew more dire this morning after levees failed along the Wabash and Embarras Rivers in southeastern Illinois.