Levee overtops near Meredosia; ESDA was ready

By Benjamin Cox on May 8, 2019 at 9:11am

A levee in Meredosia is overtopped but emergency managers say the situation is calm.

Morgan County Emergency Management Coordinator Phil McCarty offers an update.

“The river is at an extremely critical stage. We have had an overtop of a levee that we planned to have. We knew it was going to happen at this level, and it did, and now we’re moving forward with the contingency plans we have in place.”

McCarty says students in Meredosia are not in flood danger as the school year closes.

“The school itself sits well above the flood plain and out of danger. I think school is moving along as normal. If there is an urgent issue, we have been in contact with the district to make sure things are taken care of and all students and staff are kept safe, which is the top priority.”

McCarty describes the need for people to stay away from the flood waters for safety.

“Anywhere along the Illinois River, from Peoria down to Hardin where it joins the Mississippi, the waters are at critical levels. The one thing I have to say is that this is not a sight-seeing trip. There are real people and real lives at stake and real work that is going on to protect these communities. Just go online to social media and media outlets to see what the flooding looks like, because gawking only impedes the progress of making sure everyone stays safe.”

McCarty says the Upper Smith Lake levee being overtopped was a controlled situation.