West Central Illinois towns feeling effects of heavy rainfall

By Gary Scott on May 1, 2017 at 1:12pm

It was the wettest week of the year so far in West Central Illinois last week, and some towns are feeling the effects more than others.

One such town is Meredosia, situated along the Illinois River, where flooding in previous years has caused delays on repair work for the bridge that runs above the river.

David Werries, who will officially overtake the office of Mayor of Meredosia next week, says that since the rain started last week, the Illinois River at Meredosia has risen approximately four inches and currently sits at just over 18 feet.

Werries says rising river levels are pretty typical during rainy seasons, and says that the conditions have pushed back work on the bridge.

“This is pretty much typical we’re used to it. But the worst part of it is if they get a lot of this rain up north obviously and it wasn’t near as bad as what they originally predicted. We’re in pretty good shape, but it slowed them down quite a bit because they obviously they’re right next to the river there and they need to be under the bridge to do work. Right as we speak, half of it is underwater at the moment.”

Director of Morgan County Emergency Management Services Phil McCarty has been working with Werries regarding potential flooding concerns. McCarty goes over other places around Morgan County that have been effected by the heavy precipitation.

“The flash flooding from the rains over the weekend is starting to subside. There were a number of roads that were flooded out, there’s still some that are flooded that are pretty typical common flooders with the Mauvaisterre Creek being out, those types of things. But the main concern kind of shifts from the flash flooding to the river flooding which is not as much of a flash as it is a long term event. So there is no major concerns other than a lot of monitoring and making sure that something doesn’t sneak up on us.”

Werries says there is one levee in particular that cause for the most concern.

“Our main concern is the North Levee, what we call the North Levee, is down close to Lake Road it’s approximately 12 hundred some feet long. It’s just a sand levee and it can hold up to approximately a 26 foot river which were going to expect it to crest Saturday at 23.5. So its still going be 2 and a half feet below what we can hold. A sand levee is just not the best shape, that’s what we were always worried about.”

According to Werries, several fields outside of Meredosia have been flooded while the rest of the town hasn’t experienced much damage.