Metro-East News

Resident checkpoints to be enforced in Monroe County flooded areas

Illinois National Guard patrols area levees in search of trespassers and problem spots

More than 20 Illinois National Guard members patrolled the levees in St. Clair County in search of trespassers and possible warning signs of levee failure. 200 National Guard members have been deployed to the flooded region all together.
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More than 20 Illinois National Guard members patrolled the levees in St. Clair County in search of trespassers and possible warning signs of levee failure. 200 National Guard members have been deployed to the flooded region all together.

People who live in areas of Monroe County threatened by flooding will be required to show resident passes starting Wednesday morning.

As the Mississippi River approaches its expected crest on Thursday, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department officials are activating a checkpoint system and for flooded areas, according to an announcement from the department.

“We have been declared a disaster area and ask that all non-essential people stay out of the restricted area,” Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said in a statement. “The flood has been a major inconvenience for all of us and I ask that everyone make the necessary plans to travel other routes.”

Police will begin checking for resident passes at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents who live in restricted areas can still get a pass at Valmeyer Village Hall and at the Columbia Police Department.

People who do not have a pass will be turned around unless they are helping residents evacuate. Those individuals are asked to have the homeowner’s name and address on hand.

If the river were to reach 46 feet, a 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. curfew for the affected areas and closed roads. Residents are expected to clear those areas during the curfew until they have been safe for re-entry.

The curfew system and a mandatory evacuation were expected to go into effect Wednesday, but the river’s predicted crest was lowered to 45.3.

The Valmeyer School at 300 South Cedar Bluff has been designated shelter for those evacuating their homes and will be open at 8 a.m. Thursday. The American Red Cross will be distributing resources for displaced individuals at the school

The following is the list of roads that are closed west of Bluff Road:

  • Levee Road
  • Bottom Road
  • Taake Road
  • Merrimac Road
  • Garleb Road
  • Herbst Road
  • Ziebold Road
  • Bluff Road
  • Route 156 west of Old Valmeyer
  • A Road
  • B Road
  • C Road
  • DD Road
  • E Road
  • Harris road
  • Baer Road
  • KK Road
  • Berger Road
  • Mitchie Road
  • Outlet Road
  • Long Lake Road
  • Steffen Road
  • Stringtown Road
  • Ivy Road
  • Kidd Lake Road
  • Kaskaskia Road
  • Regtown Road

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the levee district has raised several portions of the levee with rock and worked on many sand boils since the river level reached 44 feet.

Rohlfing also stressed that residents of Monroe County should rely on official information and to ignore rumors. He cited a false rumor of plans to breach a section of a Monroe County levee.

The Mississippi River is expected to crest Thursday at roughly 46 feet, just three feet shy of the Great Flood of 1993 record.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.

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