In Beardstown the Illinois River is expected to reach a new record level overnight. The river’s already at a record height and the Weather Service says it will reach 29.9 feet. Beardstown mayor, Bob Walters, says right now the levees remain strong – but there is a worry they will get over-saturated:
WALTER: “We’re certainly not out of the woods, we don’t want people to think that it’s okay now, because it’s not okay.”
Walters says Beardstown residents should be alert and cautious and keep following the news media for updates. Walters says so far no evacuations are planned and rail traffic continues though it’s being heavily monitored. Schools are closed in Beardstown through Monday and the prom has been pushed to a later date. At least one bank in the city is telling its clients to clear out their safety-deposit boxes or cover their goods in plastic bags.
In Meredosia flood water has spread to farmland and some roadways as sandbagging efforts continue. Some students there were let out of school early to help with the flood fighting. Bob Fitzsimmons who heads the local emergency management says without the sandbags, levees that may have yet to breach would have already done so:
FITZSIMMONS: “We got a foot up on top of the sandbags now on the north levee that are are already holding back- that’s over the normal levee height.”
Fitzsimmons says some roadways are covered in water and are unpassable. However the town center is remaining dry and there are extra barriers put in place as a second line of defense.