The 19th Anniversary of Wave Rider, the Great Flood of 1993 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment, Weather & Nature
Written by Jonathan Kirkham   
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:51

Story by Jonathon Kirkham, Illinois National Guard Command Historian Intern

SPRINGFIELD, IL (07/02/2012)(readMedia)-- Today commemorates the 19th anniversary of the Great Flood of 1993, which lead to Operation Wave Rider, the largest state active duty mission in the history of the Illinois National Guard. More than 7,000 Soldiers and Airmen were activated after heavy rains led to record flooding of the Mississippi, Illinois, Rock, Sangamon and Wabash rivers.

On July 1, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar alerted Maj. Gen. Donald Lynn, The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard to prepare for a potential flood mission. Three days later, Lynn activated units for Operation Wave Rider.

Soldiers and Airmen provided support to 44 counties declared natural disaster areas by state and federal officials. Operations included security, levee maintenance and repair, sandbagging, search and rescue, water distribution, medical assistance and aviation support.

Despite the extensive damage, Soldiers and Airmen proved valuable assistance to the disaster relief and cleanup resulting in zero loss of life. By Dec. 1, only 33 Guardsmen remained in the hardest hit areas to provide additional security.

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