Flood events in Illinois

Thursday, March 20, 2008

n Union County, Ill. More than 12 inches of rain fell across Union County, overtopping the levees of the Clear Creek Drainage District, said Sheriff David Livesay.

The flooding effectively cut the county in two, separating public safety officers and causing them to split forces as best they could, he said.

Sheriff's officers, Wolf Lake firefighters and officers from the Illinois Department of Conservation worked Wednesday to assist between 30 and 35 people from flooded areas, he said.

Livesay said they went door to door informing residents about the situation and offering them help to evacuate. About 12 houses were actually flooded, he said. Livesay described the flooding as backwater rather than a more dangerous, swift current. Some people had to be moved out of their homes using the five boats provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

A stretch of about 10 miles of low-lying farmland near the river, mainly around the village of Ware, was most affected by the flooding, Livesay said.

Water enveloped a section of Highway 146 near Ware, and that portion of the road remained closed to traffic Wednesday evening.

* Alexander County, Ill. All the major roads were open by Wednesday afternoon, officials said, though a few secondary roads remained barricaded. Most of the requests sheriff's officers received were to assist with flooding of individual homes. Olive Branch and Gail got hit the hardest.

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