Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor signed a proclamation confirming a state of emergency in the county late on the night of July 12 because of problems caused by significant flooding, county officials said.
Lawlor’s proclamation said severe flooding has created a disaster in the county. Both the Fox and Des Plaines rivers were expected to crest Saturday, July 15, and communities throughout the county are simultaneously dealing with more localized flooding.
The proclamation was sent to the office of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
The emergency management coordinator for Lake County, Mike Dacey, said that by filing the proclamation with the state, Lake County triggered the first step in receiving either state or federal or both state and federal disaster relief assistance. He said a state of emergency is only declared when damage is widespread throughout individual municipalities in a county – damage must affect the county as a whole to the extent that the county does not have enough resources to solve the problem on its own.
Relief can come in the forms of both public and private assistance, Dacey said.
The Lake County Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor rising water levels and weather forecasts and work with local jurisdictions to ensure help is provided where it is needed, according to the release.
“I want to thank our public works staff, first responders, volunteers and neighbors across Lake County who are helping us respond to what is expected to be a record flood,” Lawlor said in a statement. “The past 24 hours have been very challenging for the residents of Lake County as we respond to the flood.”
Lawlor went on to say recovery, cleanup and damage assessment would be completed after waters recede.
“It’s important to remember we are all in this together,” Lawlor said.