Senator Dick Durbin visits Alexander County, residents express concerns

Senator Dick Durbin visits Alexander County, residents express concerns

OLIVE BRANCH, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Senator Dick Durbin visited Alexander County Wednesday, Jan. 5 to tour the flood damaged regions and talk with local officials about cleaning up and what the government might do to help.

"I can't predict that the Feds are going to come to the rescue here," Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said.

Many residents gathered at the Horseshoe Lake Community Center to get their questions answered. Durbin vowed he understands the sense of urgency and will follow through.

People asked questions they needed to know to overcome the New Year Flood, along with previous flooding. The main question many people wanted to know is "when will they get their money promised to them back during the 2011 buyout?"

Durbin said the buyout was federally funded, so Springfield should not have held it up. After the meeting with the senator, people say they still aren't convinced the government will come through.

The senator promised to contact state lawmakers and the governor directly about the buyout issue.

"He doesn't have a lot of answers," Hodges Park Resident Jessie Ratliff said. "He's not answering the questions specifically that I want answered. And all of us should be dealt with at the same time, in a fair way. That's all I'm asking for."

A second major concern for people in the community is whether or not the Lens Small Levee will be rebuilt in time for possible spring flooding. Right now, there is no answer on that question either.

There are still a lot of unknowns for Alexander County. Meanwhile, people are beginning to clean up damages.

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