Jacksonville declared a state of emergency

On campus at Mac Murray / KHQA's Lindsey Boetsch

UPDATED: July 5 at 10:42 a.m.

Jacksonville residents can be at ease this week after the city lifted its water conservation restrictions over the weekend.

Mayor Andy Ezard says he's waiting for test results from the EPA to see if the chlorine is pushing through the lines properly. Until then, a boil order still remains across the city.

Mayor Ezard says the cleanup is going well.

As for financial aid, city officials say it's a work in progress.

UPDATED: July 1 at 2:26 p.m.

The City of Jacksonville, Ill. is still under a very long boil order that was first issued on June 18th due to storms and flooding

The city has released a handful of tips for follow up once a boil order has been lifted.

Residents are advised to flush their water system after the boil order is lifted to clear plumbing of the untreated water. Flushing your household and building water lines includes the following: interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers, water treatment units, etc.

Follow these guidelines:

Cold Water: To clear cold water pipes of untreated water: run tap water at least 1 minute until the water feels cold before drinking, tooth brushing, or using for food preparation.

Hot Water: To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water: turn on all hot water faucets and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot water tank and 30 minutes for an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger. After this flushing, hot water is then safe to use for washing hands, and for hand-washing dishes, pots and pans, etc.

Refrigerators: Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one quart of water.

Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order. Discard ice made the next additional 24 hour period to assure complete purging of the water supply line. All ice made during the boil order should be discarded.

Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.

Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.

Food and baby formula: Be sure you have discarded any baby formula or other foods prepared with water on the days of the boil order.

Washing Machine: Turn on a warm water rinse cycle on the washing machine and let it run to clear water pipes going to the machine.

For those of our viewers in Jacksonville, if you have any questions or concerns contact the Jacksonville Water Department at 217/479-4615, the Morgan County Health Department at 217/245-5111, or the Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency Services & Disaster Agency at 217/479-4616.


UPDATED: June 20 at 5:00 p.m.

Please be aware of these very important updates for residents of Jacksonville, Illinois:

Boil Order for:

  • City of Jacksonville

  • North Morgan Rural Water District

  • Scott Morgan Green (SMG) Water Cooperative

  • Murrayville Woodson Water Commission

  • Village of Franklin

  • Alexander Rural Water District

  • Village of Manchester

No Boil Order:

  • Village of South Jacksonville

City of Jacksonville Water Department:

  • Extreme water conservation measures need to be taken to ensure that we can continue to provide water to everyone!!!!!!

  • We have a lot of questions about if they should be using the water for showers/baths. The Health Department is recommending that they shouldn TMt use the water to bath in. This is especially true for people with wounds.

  • All water should boiled for 5 minutes before using (water should be bubbling and rolling). You need to wash your dishes using bottled water or boiled water " the dishwashers don TMt get hot enough.

  • The other question we are getting is how long will the boil order be in effect. At this point we do not know how long the boil order will be in effect. We are working around the clock to get everything back and running.

  • The water that we are currently providing is untreated. It will have a yellow/brownish color to it. The brown color is iron. ---Be careful doing laundry with this water because it may stain the clothes.

  • We are forwarding all restaurant questions to the Morgan County Health Department 245-5111.

  • If you drink the water it may cause an upset stomach/diarrhea.

Morgan County Health Department

  • People experiencing signs or symptoms of illness including, but not limited to diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and jaundice, should seek medical attention from their doctor or medical facility.

  • Keep skin scrapes and wounds clean, dry and covered. Any signs of infection, seek medical attention immediately

  • Hand Hygiene " wash hands with potable water (ie. previously boiled water that has been cooled)

Fire Safety Tips

  • No recreation fires at this time. No burning of brush or small branches & yard waste.

  • Careful when disposing of cigarette butts.

  • Careful when using tools and equipment that use heat or flames such as welders and torches

  • Be more aware during this time of conservation

Residents of Rolling Acres

  • Kelly Hall, City of Jacksonville Inspection Department, will be on site at Rolling Acres tomorrow, June 21, 2011, to do a damage assessment. Any residents with damage can meet at the office at 10:00 am with questions and concerns.


  • Central Prairie Chapter American Red Cross " 217/243-6641

  • Will do disaster assessment

  • Able to assist with food, clothing and shelter

  • Flood buckets and help kits available

  • Salvation Army " 217/245-7124

  • Assistance with food, clothing and shelter

  • Morgan County Department of Human Services - 217/245-5164

UPDATED: June 20 at 11:33 a.m.

The emergency status has not yet been lifted from the city of Jacksonville, however, water is receding.

KHQA's Melissa Shriver is in the area Monday and will bring a report on the flood waters and water conservation efforts in town.

Please check this story later and watch KHQA's News at Five, KHQA's Evening News at 6 p.m. and KHQA's Late News at 10 p.m. for much more information!

In the meantime, if you live in the area and have an update for us, we would love to hear from you ... post your comments below or visit our Facebook page to share your information.


UPDATED: June 19, 2011

The City of Jacksonville has been declared a state of emergency and will remain so throughout the next few days. The Morgan County ESDA office offers the following guidance.

South Jacksonville has its own water supply and is not under a boil order. Continue to only use water on an emergency basis as the Jacksonville Water Treatment Plant is still inoperable. This could be a problem for the Jacksonville community for 5 " 6 days. Potable Water is to be at a rolling boil for 5 full minutes prior to be used. The Morgan County Department of Public Health has recommended the use of paper products, plates, cups and plastic silverware. Pop up hand wipes are recommended for rest rooms.In addition, restaurants are encouraged to move to a limited menu to save on dishwashing.

There will be a press conference on Monday, June 20th, at 1:00 pm in the Mayor TMs Conference Room, 200 West Douglas, Jacksonville.

The city of Jacksonville and water coops are under boil order. The City of Jacksonville has issued a boil order for the City of Jacksonville water customers and the rural water districts that purchase water from the Jacksonville Water Department.Continue to only use water on an emergency basis as the Jacksonville Water Treatment Plant could be out of service for a few days.

The county co-ops impacted are: North Morgan Rural Water District, SMG Water Cooperative, Murrayville Woodson Water Commission, Village of Franklin, Alexander Rural Water District, Village of Manchester. More information will be provided to the public when it becomes available.

Water Supply: The Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center continues to receive inquiries from the public regarding a rumor that the City of Jacksonville is going to shut off the water system at 8:00 p.m. That rumor is unfounded. We ask the citizens to continue water conservation, the boil order, and other safeguards that are in place until further notice. - Jacksonville/Morgan County Emergency Services & Disaster Agency (217) 479-4616.


Jacksonville has declared a state of emergency limiting water use to just basic needs . This is in effect in city of Jacksonville until further notice.

The Jacksonville Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriffs Department is directing all citizens to stay home.

"I've never seen anything like this ever. This is the worst flooding I've ever seen happen in Jacksonville," said Suzie Garman.

Suzie Garman and her family were not alone when they came out to the water treatment facility to find the overnight rain caused Mauvaise Terre Lake to overflow. Now, the Water Treatment facility is under water.

"By the time we got here at a quarter to six it was already around the plant. We tried to keep it out of the plant but it was more than what we could handle. So, I think about 7:30 we had to finally abandon the plant," said Superintendent of Utilities Jack Cosner.

Superintendent of Utilities Jack Cosner says on a normal day you shouldn't be able to see any water, but the flooding doesn't stop there. Morton Avenue east of Main Street is closed, and it gets worse.

The flooding has stretched so far it's come all the way to Mac Murray College. It's hard to tell if this was a common area or a parking lot but now it looks like a huge lake. There are cars that are almost completely under water and a softball field that no longer stands. And it could take days before all this water receeds.

Cosner says it could be as many as five. Until the plant is up and running, residents are asked to use water on an emergency basis only. Bottles and jugs of water were flying off the shelves at the County Market in town.

"We've gotten one truck of water already and two more coming tonight. And, I have trucks already on call for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week," says Gossip.

That's good news for residents.

"I do have three kids, and my little one tends to use a lot of water so we're going to really restrict him with the water," said Garman.

To help save water, the Morgan County Department of Public Health has recommended the use of paper products, plates, cups and plastic silverware.

Restaurants also are encouraged to move to a limited menu to save on dishwashing.


The Jacksonville Water Treatment Plant is under water after the city received about 8 inches of rain over the last day, making it unbearable for the lake to hold. The surrounding flood waters sit waist high. Throughout the day, about a foot of the water has already receded.

KHQA's Lindsey Boetsch spoke with the city's superintendent of utilities. He says it will take four to five days to get the flooding under control. Water plant crews cannot get into the facility until the waters recede.

One Jacksonville resident says she's lived here for 43 years and has never seen anything like it.

The basement of Kendall Hall at MacMurray College is completely flooded. Cars in the parking lot are under water and the college's common area looks like a lake.

I-72 West of Jacksonville is now open. Parts of I-72 East remains to be an issue.