Officials are now waiting to see what happens when the crest arrives
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 21:47:34 GMT —
UPDATE: April 26th, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
Bob Fitzsimmons and the Emergency Management team have been working around the clock to build the levee in Meredosia.
"We've been working everyday, long hours, long days," he said. "We have in place all of our sandbags and all of our emergency restraint."
Meredosia officials are competing against the rising Illinois River that's expected to crest at 28.8 feet. That's more than 10 feet higher than it's flood stage, a record breaking number. (You can see what level the River was at on Friday morning by clicking, here.)
"Yesterday we had to go out and raise some of them [levees]," he said. "We do have some water on a lot of our bags on the riverside, the north side."
Morgan County officials are hoping that this levee holds up as the Illinois River crests but if not they have patrol teams on the look out for any problem areas.
"We've got some small reaction teams and we have them on call for strike force teams that are ready to go," Fitzsimmons said. "We have stuff bagged in trucks that are staged all across the area to support that operation at a moments notice."
Fitzsimmons says the only things that's left to do is wait.
ORIGINAL: April 24, 2013 at 4:47 p.m.
The Illinois River has gone higher every day for the past week. And on Wednesday afternoon, levee officials in Morgan County, Illinois are watching and waiting, looking for weak spots in the levee.
But they're also keeping a close eye on what's happening south of Meredosia.
A levee that runs adjacent to Smith Lake has flood water now running over the top of it - and that water eventually will flood thousands of acres of farm land.
Bob Fitzsimmons, the Morgan County ESDA director, expected this to happen. He and other workers are patrolling the levee on either side of the Meredosia bridge, watching for weak spots and low points.
"Walking the levees and security issues. And keeping some strike teams, guys that are ready to have sand bags and stuff ready to react to boils and low areas that we have missed," said Fitzsimmons.
They're keeping a close eye on the levee north of Meredosia. Flood water has reached the sand bags that were put down earlier this week. Meredosia Mayor Kenneth Scott said this reminds him of 1995, 2002 and 2009.
"We have more water then we did in 2009. In 2009, our big concern was the fact that we sat on a lot of water for a long period of time, we were having a lot of seepage issues. Fortunately, we're not seeing as much seepage yet, but I'm sure it is coming," Scott said.
Fitzsimmons said crews finished a Hesco flood barrier along the Old Dump Road south of Meredosia late Tuesday night. It's about a mile long, and hopefully will keep water from creeping into town from the south.
The expected crest at Meredosia still is predicted for late Thursday night into Friday morning.
The Illinois River is expected to reach 28.8 feet - that would break the all-time record by one tenth of a foot.