About 100 people decide to stay in Cairo

Monday, May 2, 2011
A large sand boil has appeared near a levee in Cairo, Ill. (Laura Simon)

CAIRO, Ill. -- The mandatory evacuation for Cairo does not have all city residents scared.

According to Illinois State Police Capt. Harry Masse, commander of District 22, about 100 of the approximate 2,800 residents remain in the city and are unwilling to leave even as the continued rise of historic flood water levels in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers pose serious threats to the city.

"We've offered them rides to the shelters," he said. "They're just going to wait it out."

Duke Jones, a Cairo resident, said he will stay at his home until there is a levee breach or dangerous problems with sand boils in the city.

"I feel confident that the levee is going to hold, and as long as the sewers in Cairo are operating, I think everything's going to be all right," he said.

Jones said he is registered with the Illinois State Police and National Guard, and they will alert all remaining residents by city sirens when and if the situation turns life threatening, in which case, he does have some items packed and ready to go.

"I'm not fearful at all right now," he said. "I've got a steak ready to cook tonight, and it's just business as usual as far as I'm concerned."

Masse said overall the evacuation process has gone smoothly and every house in Cairo has been checked.

Police officials are stationed at city entrances ordering all individuals to sign in and out when entering and leaving the city.

rrolwing@semissourian.com

388-3654

Map of pertinent addresses

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