Champ-Clark Bridge Reopens, Optimism As Flood Waters Begin Receding

By Benjamin Cox on May 10, 2019 at 8:22am

The flood wall at Beardstown along the river walk has a small leak that is allowing water to trickle onto Main Street. The concrete wall was installed in the late 40s as a levee against the Illinois River.

Receding waters are bringing some sense of normalcy back to flooded towns in the area. On Thursday afternoon, the Illinois Department of Transportation re-opened the Champ-Clark Bridge at U.S. 54 in Pike County. The Sny Levee District appears to be calm as waters appear to be receding.

In Cass County, Beardstown is still bracing for a full crest on Saturday at nearly 29 feet. The flood stage currently sit at 28.9 feet, causing portions of Route 100 to the Southwest of town being close to water.

Meredosia is sitting right at its predicted crest level at 28.01 feet this afternoon as sandbagging on the north levees continue. La Grange Lock & Dam also sits right at their current predicted crest level 33.52 ft. While Valley City appears to have crested at 26.4 ft. Wednesday afternoon and the water level continues to remain steady, residents of Valley City seem to have fled the town for higher ground, as it appears mostly deserted.

Hardin in Calhoun County finally had some good news overnight, as flood waters have receded from the high point of 37.85 ft on Wednesday afternoon. The crest takes over the 2nd highest all time high in the city behind only the record of 42.4 ft in 1993. Nutwood continues to remain a concern, as their levee had several places of seepage occurring. According to Army Corps of Engineer Officials, groundhogs use the levee during low water as a popular burrow. The remaining burrows cause weakness in the levee during high water.

Efforts are expected to continue throughout the weekend up and down the Illinois River Valley as the water, despite finally receding will remain for some time.