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Illinois Official: We Were Ready For Much Worse

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Hurricane Isaac Hits New Orleans, Gulf Coast

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) - Hurricane Isaac did little more to Illinois than dump some rain on it, but Illinois Emergency Management Agency director Jonathon Monken says his office was ready nonetheless.

“There’s been a lot of communication between the state of Illinois, state of Louisiana, (and the) state of Mississippi,” said Monken, “making sure that if they needed anything, we had some National Guard helicopters that were on standby, we had some law enforcement teams that were on standby if they needed them.”

Monken said the severe weather is more severe than it used to be.

“The pattern of severe weather that we’ve seen just over the last couple of years has just increased exponentially, and the extremes are getting farther. Last year we had record floods, the highest measurements we’ve ever had at the gauge at Cairo, and now this year we’ve had record droughts,” Monken said.

“We go from more rain than we’ve ever seen to no rain – a condition we haven’t seen in fifty years. Those polarizing extremes, I think, don’t bode well for the future as far as severe weather is concerned.”

Why this is happening, Monken said, is a debate for somebody else.

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