Some Parts Of Illinois, Mississippi Rivers May Crest Today


Published on April 21 2013 10:05 am
Written by Wayne Moran

Residents along parts of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers may see their rising waters crest today, depending on how far north they live.

The Army Corps of Engineers expects areas around St. Louis to start cresting at mid-week, and areas further south will crest several days after that. The Corps has shut down locks on both rivers in hopes of preventing any further barge accidents like the one involving nine barges that broke away during flooding late on Thursday.

Governor Quinn has added four more counties to the list of disaster-stricken areas affected by flooding.  Knox, Douglas, Livingston and McDonought counties have now been added to the 38 counties that were previously on the list.

While flooding in the Chicago area has begun to recede, southern and western Illinois and other parts of the Midwest are still suffering under high waters that have gone over flood stage by 12 feet in some places.

Managers of wildlife areas along the Illinois River are keeping a close eye on water levels.

Flooding is anticipated as the river is forecast to rise at least ten feet by the middle of next week. The water could top the levee protecting the seven-thousand acre Nature Conservancy Emiquon Preserve. The Preserve's Jason Beverlin says they don't have the resources or the time to raise the levee.

On Saturday, about 1,500 residents of Marseilles were evacuated after six barges broke loose and hit a dam on the Illinois River allowing water to pour into the town. Some of those evacuated are residents of a nursing home. A lock on the river has also been closed because of damage from a barge. Three other locks in the area are also closed because of the flooding. A section of I-55 near St. Louis was closed as well, after several barges broke loose from their moorings and were floating loose in the fast-moving river.