Metro-East News

Mississippi to swell back to near major flood levels this week

Grafton starts cleaning up after two-month long flood

Renee Burgess, of Grafton, IL discusses cleanup efforts at Ruebel Hotel, and throughout Grafton. The area has been hit by flooding since mid-April.
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Renee Burgess, of Grafton, IL discusses cleanup efforts at Ruebel Hotel, and throughout Grafton. The area has been hit by flooding since mid-April.

The Mississippi River is expected to rise to just slightly below major flood level over the next few days before reconvening its slow descent.

According to the National Weather Service’s hydrologic prediction service, the Mississippi River at St. Louis will rise back up to 39.9 feet by Wednesday, June 26, and will begin descending again the next day.

In Alton the river will rise back to 33 feet from its Saturday level of 31.9 feet before descending again. In Grafton the rise in river level will be minor, only increasing by an inch to 29.5 feet.

The river only recently dropped below major flood stage last week and while it isn’t expected to reach major flood stage again, the river’s expected descent to moderate flood stage has been extended until at least July 1.

As of Sunday, the portion of the Mississippi River that stretches through the metro-east has been above minor flood levels since March.

Meanwhile, cities around the metro-east are beginning cleanup missions and assessing damage while the state begins to offer resources to those who have been most affected by the months of flooding.

State agencies are beginning to offer recovery assistance for those affected by spring flooding.

The state launched a website dedicated to disaster recovery this week. Agency directors, directed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, are making resources available to help local communities recover from flooding.

“If you or your family has been impacted by the flooding, storms, or power outages, we want to help,” said IDHS Secretary Grace Hou.

That includes emergency housing assistance, replacing SNAP benefits and agricultural assistance.

The website (www.Illinois.gov/2019floods) provides information on:

  • Debris and Damage Reporting Tools

  • Recovery resources- Emergency Housing and Mortgage Assistance, Availability of Multi-Agency Resource Centers, Health and Safety, Agricultural Resources, Fraud Alert information and Disaster Volunteer Organizations.

  • Mental Health Helpline

  • Road/Travel Updates

  • Press Releases

  • County Emergency Management contacts

“This flood event has had an unprecedented reach – impacting residents, business owners, farmers and entire communities,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau in a press release.

While the river is set to rise over the next few days, the Illinois Department of Transportation has reopened several roads including U.S. 67 at Henry Street to West Third Street in Alton and Illinois 3 in Randolph County at Nine Mile Creek near Evansville.

The following are still closed due to persistent flooding:

  • IL 100 from US 67 in Alton to IL 16 in Jersey County,

  • IL 3, in Chester, Truck By-Pass (Water Street),

  • IL 155 outside of Prairie du Rocher,

  • Brussels Ferry,

  • Kaskaskia Street in Chester,

  • IL 100 in Calhoun County from junction of IL16/100 in Jersey County to Pike County (revised),

  • IL 96 from County Highway 2 to Pike County Line (some roads open to local traffic),

  • IL 3, in Randolph County, at Mary’s River to the Jackson County line,

  • IL 108 from Eldred to IL 100,

  • Chester Bridge closed by MoDOT (MO 51 & IL 150),

  • IL 16/100 between Eldred and Hardin including the Joe Page Bridge,

  • IL 96, Kampsville, from IL 100 to Jefferson Avenue,

  • IL 3, in Grafton, from Grafton Hills Road to IL 100, and

  • Eldred Road from IL 108 to IL 16/100, Greene County

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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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