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National Guard Called Up for Flood Fighting

Illinois National Guard soldiers from the western and central parts of the state are being called up to help fight flooding along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. They're members of the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery, based in the Quad Cities (Milan), with units in Galesburg and Springfield.

Lieutenant Colonel Brad Leighton, public affairs director for the Illinois National Guard, says most of the 200 soldiers will be sent to southwest Illinois - for sandbagging, monitoring and strengthening levees, and protecting infrastructure.

"One of the reasons we called the 2nd of the 123 Field Artillery on duty was they were scheduled to go on their annual training on June 1. So they were going to be two weeks away from employers and family starting on June 1 anyway, so we figured that would have less of an impact."

The governor has ordered another 200 National Guard soldiers to be on standby.

They were notified Wednesday night, and began reporting to their units Thursday, and will be ready to deploy on Friday.  

Copyright 2021 WVIK, Quad Cities NPR. To see more, visit WVIK, Quad Cities NPR.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.