West Central IL towns fight rising waters

Apr 24, 2013

The Illinois river continues to rise as towns in west central Illinois fight off the water. IPR’s Rachel Otwell has more: 

Petey Ruch is the city clerk in Beardstown. He says a conservation order has been put in place in case a levee would breach and impact the plant that provides drinking water for the town.  

 RUCH "We'd be down to one well, pumping from one well, which would cut our number of gallons that we could treat in half ."

 The river is expected to hit a record level there this weekend - at nearly 30 feet. But Ruch says the local levee can hold back up to 35 feet of water. Problems have arisen though, there's been at least one sand-boil, which is what happens when suppressed water goes underground and bubbles up on th dry side of the levee.

 Beardstown schools are closed through Monday as a precaution.

Meanwhile, about 20 miles south of Beardstown around Meredosia a private levee has breached near the Scott/Morgan county line.

FITZSIMMONS  "It's going to spread out all over the farm-land to the various heights."

That's Bob Fitzsimmons with the local emergency management. He says plans are in place to keep the water contained to about 2-thousand acres of farm-land. A few homes are affected and have been evacuated. Fitzsimmons says for now water is being kept from the town's center in Meredosia.