Communities keeping an eye on the Illinois River
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 22:45:41 GMT —
All eyes are on river stages both on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
While the Mississippi is slowly dropping ... the opposite is true for the Illinois River.
As the stages in Quincy are slowly on the decline, officials in Beardstown, south of Meredosia, along the Illinois River are gearing up for the fight against flood waters.
Volunteers filled sandbags Monday, shored up the levee and put down plastic in hopes of winning the flood fight of 2013.
Officials in Meredosia are expecting a record level by the weekend. That means plenty of work.
"We know our low spots, we know our trouble spots, we hope, my plan was by Thursday, the original prediction that we have everything in place ready for our emergency response with our task force, teams to watch for boils and to walk the levees," Morgan County ESDA Director Bob Fitzsimmons said.
But before levee walking starts, local residents make sure the levees are high enough to combat what lies ahead. In Meredosia, there are levees on both the north and south sides of the bridge. Rising water has residents concerned for the safety of their homes.
"Well, I'm concerned, but I think the people is really helping, putting forth the effort to help us, I seen it many a time," Meredosia Resident Judy Benjamin said.
"It's got us all concerned and that's why we got a jump start on this whole thing, so that we could be able to react to the highest river stage that's even been experienced here in Meredosia," Meredosia Mayor Elect Jim Rausch said.
To give you an idea of how fast the Illinois river is rising in Meredosia ... it rose two-and-a-half-feet from seven a.m. Sunday to seven a.m. on Monday.
The river stage was at 24 and a half feet around 3 Monday afternoon.
It is expected to crest on Thursday afternoon at 28 and a half feet ... just a few tenths away from the record set in 1943.
Meanwhile, over at Evandys Boatel near Naples, Illinois, water has fully surrounded the building.
"This morning at seven when one of our food trucks showed up, you could go across there, he walked across there with a dolly so there was still gravel, there, but it's probably gone up a good five or six inches since seven this morning," Restaurant Manager Gary Freeman said.
Freeman said the restaurant had people eating lunch Monday, despite the water that had come up in the morning.
The Boatel has only been open for about six months, but the planning that went into the construction of the Boatel in Naples could pay off later this week. When the new construction began, the restaurant's owners were required to build it higher than the levee across from the building. They're keeping a definite eye on the rising river however.