Boat crews rescue high school basketball team

Crews rescue teens, adults from school bus trapped on flooded road

School bus and semi truck get stuck in flooded roads at Route 161 and County Road in Mascoutah on Monday night.
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School bus and semi truck get stuck in flooded roads at Route 161 and County Road in Mascoutah on Monday night.

UPDATE: 7:10 p.m.: Jefferson Road between Silver Creek and Brickyard Road was closed to traffic due to flooding.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: A school bus carrying the Mount Vernon High School girls basketball team was swept away by flood waters about 5:45 p.m. Monday on Illinois 161 near Mascoutah.

No injuries were reported, according to Rob Stookey, the assistant fire chief for Mascoutah.

Twelve players and four adults were rescued by boat crews from the city of Belleville, the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Conservation Police.

“I think the current swept the bus down,” said Madeline Keele, one of the players.

Players said the bus was filling with water while they were being rescued. The bus ended up off the roadway in water.

Also, an 18-wheeler was swept off the roadway near the bus.

Illinois 161 remained closed for more than 2 hours as wrecker crews worked to remove the tractor-trailer and the bus.

The girls were picked up by another bus and made it to the Mascoutah gym in time for the tipoff of their game.

“We play in an hour, and we’re playing!” said team member Lauren Heinzman.

Belleville West ended up defeating Mount Vernon, 76-52.

Mount Vernon team member Jazmine Hawkins tweeted a photo after being rescued from the bus:

•  •  • 

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Sandbagging continues in Alton:


St. Louis Downtown Airport Rehab Bus arriving at the mutual aid assignment in Alton IL to assist EMA members working a...

Posted by St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.: Nancy Rosales said that in the 57 years she has lived in her house at 4064 Lake Drive in Pontoon Beach, the waters of Long Lake have never crept as close as they were on Monday evening — just 8 feet away from a row of sand bags her son and grandson and their families laid on Sunday.

“I didn't sleep at all Sunday night,” she said, worrying that the water would run into her home and ruin a new wood floor she recently had workmen install.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 5:25 p.m.: Illinois Department of Transportation has expanded its closure of Interstate 70 in Bond County. The closure now goes from mile marker 30 to mile marker 45, from Pierron to Greenville.

Motorists are asked to use Illinois 143 and Illinois 127 as alternate routes.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the southbound off-ramp on Interstate 255 at State Street in East St. Louis is closed due to flooding.

Keep up to date with road closures in the metro-east by visiting IDOT’s emergency road closure website.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: More road trouble reported, this time in Mascoutah:


Mascoutah PD on scene at 161 between North County Rd and 6th St reporting water covering roadway and request IDOT respond to close the roadway.

Posted by St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: Power has been restored to Ameren Illinois customers in Hamel, according to spokesperson Kelly Hendrickson.

Customers in Granite City and some parts of Edwardsville continue to experience outages because their electricity has been turned off “for safety reason” due to flooding, Hendrickson said.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: The Alton-Audubon Eagle Fest scheduled for Saturday has been canceled due to the flooding of the Mississippi River in the region.

“With historic flooding in Downtown Alton and along Illinois Route 100 in Grafton, we decided it was best to cancel the event,” said Brett Stawar, president and CEO of the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A new date for the Eagle Fest has not been set at this time. Planned eagle meet and greets at the Alton Visitor Center will resume as scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 and continue each Saturday throughout January. Eagle watching shuttle tours will also resume on Jan. 9.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: The Mississippi River, which was at 35.1 feet Monday afternoon at its St. Louis gauge, is expected to crest at 44.8 feet on Thursday. In 1993, the Mississippi River at St. Louis reached its record level of 49.58 feet.

Russell Errett, a hydraulic engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said water is flowing into Lake Carlyle at 24,800 cubic feet per second, but the outflow is being controlled at 5,000 cubic feet per second.

Engineers plan to increase the outflow out of the lake to 10,000 cubic feet per second, after the Mississippi River crest moves south, Errett said.

The lake’s tailwater level is currently at 423.3 feet, just below the 423.5-foot flood level, Errett said.

Over the weekend, the Corps activated its Emergency Operations Center and it mobilized staff members to assist levee districts and area communities.

“We are doing everything we can to keep the people behind the system safe but people should always remember to be aware of surroundings and not drive through flooded areas,” said Matthew Hunn, chief of emergency operations for the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: Latest IDOT report on road closures, as of 4 p.m.:

  • IL 143 closed between IL-255 & IL-111 in Madison County due to flooding
  • IL 100 is closed in Grafton between Church & Springfield streets due to flooding
  • IL-143 at Silver Creek closed due to flooding.
  • Marine Road from Lake Road to Hunter School Road closed due to flooding.
  • US-40 closed between Triad Road and Schaeffer Road. Follow marked detour.
  • Old Alton Edwardsville Road closed between Bender Road and IL-143.
  • IL-159 NB & SB just North of IL-143, North of Edwardsville is closed due to flooding.
  • Chain of Rocks Rd between IL-157 & IL-111 in Madison Co. is closed due to flooding.
  • Brussels Ferry is closed due to flooding of Rt-100. (Brussels-Calhoun Co.)
  • East Chain of Rocks Rd. at Sand Rd. is closed due to flooding.
  • IL-3 at the Truck By-Pass in Randolph Co. is closed due to the rising Mississippi River.
  • IL-3 closed from the Randolph/Jackson County line to Chester, IL due to flooding.
  • US-50 between Rieder Rd. and Belleville St. is closed due to flooding. (Lebanon - St. Clair Co.)
  • I-70 EB/WB from mm36-mm46 closed due to flooding.
  • Old IL-158 from IL-177 to IL-161 is closed due to flooding.
  • SB I-255 at State Street closed due to flooding.
  • SB US-67 from Clark Bridge to IL-143 closed due to flooding.
  • Kaskaskia Street in front of the Menard Prison closed due to flooding.
  • IL-155 is closed at Prairie Du Rocher due to flooding.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.: Belleville and Cahokia have seen slightly more than 5 inches of rain since the storm hit the metro-east on Christmas.

The National Weather Service states 5.23 inches of rain has fallen in Belleville, and 5.88 inches in Cahokia.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the St. Louis-area broke a 144-year rainfall record with 60.44 inches of rain recorded for the year. The previous record was 57.96 inches in 2008, according to the National Weather Service.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 3:25 p.m.: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the state’s death toll from days of pounding rainfall has risen to 10, and he expects that number to grow.

Nixon told reporters Monday that the majority of the victims drowned after driving into floodwaters.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says six of the deaths happened in south-central Missouri’s Pulaski County. That’s where four international soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood drowned, as did two other people when their vehicle was swept away 10 miles from the soldiers.

Nixon told Missourians and other travelers to avoid driving into water, noting that “you’re taking great risks” by doing so.

State officials say there have been more than 200 road closures statewide because of the storms, as well as more than 30 water rescues.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: St. Clair County supporting temporary closure of Kaskaskia River to commercial and residential boat traffic in order to reduce wake and damage to levees.


At the request of the Kaskaskia Port Authority, St. Clair County is supporting a resolution to IEMA and IDNR to close...

Posted by St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 3:05 p.m.: The National Weather Service has extended a flood warning for the metro-east until 1:15 Tuesday.

Although heavy rainfall is expected to end Monday evening, flood waters will be slow to recede.

Motorists should watch out for possible interstate highway flooding in these two spots:

▪  Interstate 57 in Illinois between exits 109 and 127.

▪  Interstate 64 in Illinois between exits 9 and 61.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:55 p.m.: Interstate 70 between mile marker 36 in Pochahontas and mile marker 45 in Greenville will remain closed through the night due to flooding, according to the Illinois State Police.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Another water rescue, this one in Madison:


Cahokia and Camp Jackson requested mutual aid to Madison FD for station coverage while Madison works a water evacuation detail

Posted by St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: A Kentucky couple and their three children headed to visit family in Minnesota have been identified as the weekend drowning victims caught in a rain-swollen southern Illinois creek.

Todd County, Kentucky, Coroner Timothy Wells told The Associated Press Monday that Adam Schutt and his wife Erin of Elkton died Saturday night after attempting to cross a low-lying bridge near the town of Patoka about 60 miles east of St. Louis.

Logan, Robbyn and Chad Schutt also died. Wells did not release the victims’ ages.

The family’s car had been on Interstate 57. Investigators suggested the Schutts got lost after stopping for gas or dinner before driving into several feet of water.

Patoka Fire Chief Blake Hyde estimated water levels had risen to 4 to 5 feet above the roadway.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: Latest on levee gates in Cahokia area:


As it relates to the levee gates in the Cahokia area, prep work has occurred throughout the day as the weather has been...

Posted by St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan has issued a local declaration of disaster after three days of heavy rainfall caused extensive flooding throughout the area.

The Madison County Emergency Operation Center has been activated and is working with local municipalities to address issues related to the flooding. The Wood River Levee District and Metro-East Sanitation District are installing flood-control gates to protect from rising river waters, which Dunstan said are projected to “near historic” levels. The Chouteau Island Agricultural Levee, which protects 2,400 acres of undeveloped land, is expected to be topped later Monday, he said.

“Areas throughout Madison County have experienced devastating flooding, damage to roadways and water damage to our residents’ homes,” Dunstan said.

Dunstan said the county sandbagging equipment has been sent to Alton, which more sandbags distributed to municipalities who have requested them. The current level of the Mississippi River at Melvin Price Lock and Dam is currently 30.34 feet with a projected crest of 38.9 feet, which would be the second-highest flood stage on record at this location, according to the county proclamation of disaster.

“We’ve had sewer backups as a result of storm water getting into the sewer system, and widespread basement flooding, which has required emergency pumping operations,” Dunstan said.

We’ve had sewer backups as a result of storm water getting into the sewer system, and widespread basement flooding, which has required emergency pumping operations.

Alan Dunstan, Madison County Board chairman

In addition, there are dozens of roads closed due to flooding, though there have been some incidents of drivers ignoring the signs.

“I just want to stress that residents should use extreme caution when driving, especially after dark, and should use common sense,” Dunstan said.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has declared emergency:

•  •  • 

UPDATE 2 p.m.: Residents of the Village Green mobile home park on Lake Drive in Mitchell were evacuated late Sunday, most of them in jonboats. Now home is Nameoki United Methodist Church in Granite City, at least for now. The American Red Cross is operating a shelter at the church for residents displaced by the flood.

“It was real bad,” said Latonya Ball, who had lived in Village Green for three years with four children ranging in age from infant to 16 years old. “They told us we had to evacuate the trailers, so we had to just grab what we could.”

Ball said she had to go buy additional clothes Monday, since they didn’t get enough out during the evacuation. The water was high under her trailer when they brought her out on a boat, she said.

“They say the water has gotten higher, so we might not have a place to go back to,” she said.

They say the water has gotten higher, so we might not have a place to go back to.

Latonya Ball, resident evacuated from mobile home in Mitchell

Albertina Andrews has lived in Village Green for six years with her three children, aged 12 to 15. They had a few extra moments to grab additional clothes, which she appreciated, because she has to go to work. “It’s all so flooded, I’m going to need all the money I can to get through this,” she said.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross and Nameoki United Methodist Church are working to provide food and shelter for the displaced residents. Rev. Marian McCray said other churches and community members have been more than generous, and at the moment, they don’t need any additional supplies.

Red Cross volunteer Eric Hartmann said while there were only about two dozen people sleeping in the shelter overnight, they are getting more phone calls from people who may need help in the coming hours and days.

“We’re here as long as they need us,” he said.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Crews were searching Monday for a man who was seen with four international soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood before they drowned in floodwaters.

Pulaski County Sheriff Pulaski County Ron Long says marines stationed at the Army installation joined emergency crews in searching Monday for the missing man. A witness reported seeing the man with the victims before their vehicle was swept away Saturday night.

Fort Leonard Wood spokesman Robert Johnson says the soldiers who died were part of a program that brings troops from other countries to the installation to study engineering, military policing and chemical defense. Their names and where they are from hasn’t been released.

Two other people also drowned in Pulaski County after a second vehicle was swept away at almost exactly the same time 10 miles away.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: Carlyle Lake was at 449.52 feet as of 1 p.m. Monday. That level would be 10th-highest of the lake’s record crest levels. The highest level reached was 459.80 feet in 2002.

Carlyle Lake is anticipated to crest at a level of 455 feet on Jan. 2, said Konrad Faries, a water manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Lake Information: 12-28-15Lake Level: 448.91Tailwater Level: 423.32Release Rate: 5,000 cfsYesterday's Inflow: 24,760 cfsPrecipitation: 1.58" Never drive through flooded water!

Posted by Carlyle Lake on Monday, December 28, 2015

The Corps of Engineers’ live webcam at Carlyle Lake’s Dam West boat ramp showed water reaching the top of the boat ramp.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Amanda Kruse, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in St. Louis, said the Corps has been working with area levee districts during the rain to make sure people and businesses near the levees are safe.

She added levees have been performing as designed and there haven’t been any issues.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: Current road closures in Monroe County:

  • Bluff Road (between HH and Hanover Road) - closed
  • Faust Road - closed
  • South Fork Road - closed
  • KK Road (from Bluff Road to Levee Road) - closed
  • Goeddeltown at Reheis Road - closed
  • Levee Road at Luhr’s Landing - closed
  • Outlet Road - closed
  • Mitchie Road - closed
  • MM Road at Ames Road - closed
  • Horse Creek at Ames Road - closed
  • Steffen Road – sections under water

•  •  • 

UPDATE 1:00 p.m.: Ameren Illinois spokesperson Kelly Hendrickson said the power outages in Hamel are due to the weather. Hendrickson did not have an estimate for when power would be restored to the 106 households.

Granite City is also experiencing outages. According to Ameren’s outage map, 124 households are without power.

Because of the risk of flooding Monday, Hendrickson urged customers to contact Ameren Illinois to have their service disconnected before attempting to enter flooded basements where water may come in contact with electrical wiring or appliances.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:45 p.m.: The Illinois State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated Monday morning to ensure state personnel and equipment are ready to be deployed quickly if needed to help local emergency responders as they deal with flooding and winter weather.

Representatives from several state agencies are in the SEOC and state officials are assessing the storm’s impact and communicating with local response officials to determine if state resources are needed to ensure citizen safety. The SEOC will remain activated as long as necessary.

State resources deployed so far include water pumps and hoses to Calhoun County; barricades for road closures in the metro-east area; sandbags and plastic for the Big Muddy Levee in Jackson County; and pumps and hoses for Schuyler County. These resources were provided and delivered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

IEMA Director James K. Joseph urged residents to avoid travel if possible Monday due to icy roadways in much of northern Illinois and flooded roadways in central and southern Illinois.

“Road conditions are hazardous in many areas of the state, so if you can postpone travel plans today that would be best,” Joseph said. “If you must travel, be sure to check on road conditions along your route. And as always, if you encounter water over a roadway, please remember, ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown.’”

For updates on the current situation, including links to guides on winter weather and flood safety, visit the Ready Illinois website at

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: With nearly 10 inches of rain falling in the metro-east since Friday, trees are more likely to tip over, but there is little to nothing homeowners can do about it.

Inundation mainly loosens the soil instead of damaging the roots, said Rick Effinger, a manager at Effinger’s Garden Center in Belleville. So if a tree falls over, it’s more of a sign that its roots have been weak for a while.

Tom Schaefer, co-owner of T & T Tree Trimming in Belleville, said there is little homeowners can do to help their trees during persistent rain.

Instead, Schaefer said people should focus on trees when they plant them. He recommended homeowners place them away from their houses and power lines, especially trees that grow tall and have wide canopies.

Part of the problem with falling trees lies with the area’s thick clay soil, which retains water, Effinger said.

Schaefer is partial to oaks because they set deep roots. Effinger said there were several trees that drain water well, including river birches, bald cypresses and willows.

Common trees around Belleville that do not take well to water include dogwoods, redbuds and white pines, Effinger said. He recommended planting those and similar ones on high ground or on a slope and with compost and other organic material, which would help with drainage.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: Authorities identified two victims of severe weather that has claimed at least eight lives in Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that Steven Welton, 42, drowned in a Greene County creek Saturday when his vehicle was washed off the road. His body was recovered Sunday.

The Greene County Sheriff identified the other victim as Edward Kammerer, 60.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Kammerer was driving a tow truck and went to retrieve a vehicle that had gone off the roadway. Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management executive director Chet Hunter says the tow truck driver was electrocuted by a downed power line.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.: Current list of road closures from Illinois Department of Transportation:

  • IL 143 closed between IL-255 & IL-111 in Madison County due to flooding
  • IL 100 is closed in Grafton between Church & Springfield streets due to flooding
  • IL-143 at Silver Creek closed due to flooding.
  • Marine Road from Lake Road to Hunter School Road closed due to flooding.
  • US-40 closed between Triad Road and Schaeffer Road. Follow marked detour.
  • Old Alton Edwardsville Road closed between Bender Road and IL-143.
  • IL-159 NB & SB just North of IL-143, North of Edwardsville is closed due to flooding.
  • Chain of Rocks Rd between IL-157 & IL-111 in Madison Co. is closed due to flooding.
  • Brussels Ferry is closed due to flooding of Rt-100. (Brussels-Calhoun Co.)
  • East Chain of Rocks Rd. at Sand Rd. is closed due to flooding.
  • IL-3 at the Truck By-Pass in Randolph Co. is closed due to the rising Mississippi River.
  • US-50 between Rieder Rd. and Belleville St. is closed due to flooding. (Lebanon - St. Clair Co.)
  • I-70 EB/WB from mm36-mm41 closed due to flooding.
  • Old IL-158 from IL-177 to IL-161 is closed due to flooding.
  • SB I-255 at State Street closed due to flooding.
  • SB US-67 from Clark Bridge to IL-143 closed due to flooding.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: According to Ameren Illinois’ electric outage map online, there were 260 outages in Belleville and 106 in Hamel. Power has been restored to Belleville residents.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: Report of a mudslide in Caseyville area:

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: The Edwardsville Fire Department rescued three people trapped by floodwaters Sunday night.

Two men and a woman in a pickup truck drove around the “road closed” sign on Old Carpenter Road Sunday and soon were trapped in the rising floodwaters, according to Fire Capt. James Whiteford.

The water had risen to their windshield wipers and the truck was hopelessly stuck, Whiteford said. They called 911, and firefighters responded wearing water rescue wetsuits at about 7 p.m. Sunday.

The three people were rescued, though one had to be carried due to disability issues. All three were suffering from hypothermia, but were successfully warmed in the ambulances and were released from the scene, Whiteford said.

He was not sure whether the truck could be removed, or whether it remained in the flooded-out roadway.

“If they’d been there much longer, they would have been seriously hypothermic,” Whiteford said.

At least three of the major roads into Edwardsville are now flooded out, including Old Carpenter Road, Illinois 159 and Illinois 143. Whiteford warned residents to heed warning signs for closed roads, and do not try to drive through standing water. If a driver finds water covering the roadway, he or she should turn around and retreat to higher ground, then report the flooded roadway to law enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Sand-bagging operations have begun in Alton:


•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: Sump pumps were in short supply on Monday. Belleville’s Home Depot was out of them on Monday morning, but expected a shipment in the afternoon. Edwardsville Home Depot was also out of sump pumps but was hoping for a shipment on Monday. Edwardsville Lowe’s was also expecting an emergency shipment on Monday. The Shiloh Lowe’s was out of them as well and didn’t expect any Monday.

Ace Hardware at 400 N. Illinois St. in Belleville, had a few sump pumps left late Monday morning. Jason Mitchell, a sales associate, said they had a couple different models, but didn’t know how long they would last.

“We aren’t expecting a truck until later this week,” Mitchell said.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:26 a.m.: A pine tree toppled onto powerlines at 215 Brackett St. in Swansea and an Ameren crew is working to restore power.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:20 a.m.: Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn usually has a view of a golf course in the backyard of his Granite City home. Today, he has a lake:


Lake Have-A-Sue is rising, it is lapping up against our back fence

Posted by Steve Nonn on Monday, December 28, 2015

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency reports that a decision has been made to put up flood gates at Water Street in Cahokia/north Dupo and on Illinois 157 at Triple Lakes Road in Cahokia. They were to be put up by noon Monday. Stolle Road will be open for those traveling into the bluff area. The forecast for the river crest hasn’t changed, causing this decision to be made. St. Clair County EMA asks motorists to avoid this area as work crews will be starting the work of installing the gates.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 11 a.m.: The Belleville office of Helitech, a basement waterproofing company, received more than 200 phone messages from homeowners with wet basements before 8 a.m. Monday.

Tim Meyer, territory manager for Helitech, was scheduled for vacation on Monday, but after soaking rains it was “All hands on deck.”

“This is very unusual for December,” Meyer said. “About 10 years ago, we had heavy rains in December, but in my 18 years in the business, I have never seen anything like this.”

Meyer advised homeowners who find water in their basements to make sure gutters and downspouts aren’t blocked and that sump pumps are plugged in.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, Meyer said a call to a basement waterproofing contractor may be necessary.

There could be water coming over basement window sills, through cracks in the floor or other areas.

“When the ground is this saturated, water can come up between the basement walls and floors, then you need someone like us to resolve that problem,” Meyer said.

Homeowners also can minimize damage with pumps, vacuums and fans.

With all this water, Meyer said it’s going to be tough to dry things out for a while.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:55 a.m.: Swansea Fire Department was called to assist a resident on Gilbert Street:

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: According to the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, Old State Route 158 between Illinois 177 and Illinois 161 near Scott Air Force Base has been closed in all directions due to flooding.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.: In Edwardsville, a large sinkhole has developed in the roadway on Devon Court. City officials are closing the road and notifying residents that they will have to evacuate and get their vehicles out of the area.

City workers on Devon Court said for now they are only asking residents to remove their cars, because the cul-de-sac will soon be impassable and they don’t want the residents to be stuck without transportation.

“We have a road that is washing away,” said Capt. James Whiteford of the Edwardsville Fire Department. “The culvert underneath has failed and the road is in danger of collapse. They will have to dig it out.”

The cul-de-sac is the only way in or out of the complex, and the work will cut off 11 buildings, Whiteford said. For now, they only asked the residents to move their cars so they don’t get stuck. Workers have knocked on all the doors, and so far there are no residents with handicaps or medical situations that would cause a problem, Whiteford said. Some apartments will lose power, but not all, he said.

The apartments on Devon Court and throughout the University Drive area tend to be popular with students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville due to their proximity to the campus and bus lines. SIUE is currently out for the winter break.

Whiteford said the city hopes to have the repairs completed by Tuesday morning.

In Granite City, 28 residents spent the night at a shelter in Nameoki Methodist Church after three mobile home parks in Mitchell were evacuated. The American Red Cross continues to offer assistance to families displaced by the flood, which drove many out of their homes Sunday night. Anyone who needs assistance can call (314) 516-2700.

As of Monday morning, the list of closed roads in Madison County includes:

• Illinois 143 from I-255 to Wesley, at Silver Creek and and north of Edwardsville;

• Illinois 100 from Church to Springfield streets in Grafton;

• Marine Road from Lake Road to Hunter School Road;

• U.S. 40 from Triad to Schaeffer roads;

• Old Alton-Edwardsville Road from Bender Road to Illinois 143;

• Both sides of Illinois 159 north of Illinois 143;

• Chain of Rocks Road from Illinois 157 to Illinois 111;

• East Chain of Rocks Road at Sand Road;

• Illinois 3 at the truck bypass in Randolph County;

• U.S. 50 from Rieder Road to Belleville Street;

• Both sides of Interstate 70 from mile markers 36 to 41;

• Old Illinois 158 from Illinois 177 to 161;

• The Brussels Ferry;

• Southbound I-255 at State Street; and

• Southbound U.S. 67 from Clark Bridge to Illinois 143.

•  •  • 

UPDATE: 10:35 a.m.: Five to 9 inches of rain has fallen since Saturday morning across the region, including Illinois and Missouri, according to the National Weather Service. Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches are possible through Monday afternoon.

Specific numbers for Madison County include:

▪  Collinsville: 7.5 inches

▪  Alton: 8.28 inches

▪  Roxana: 9.98 inches

These are “event totals” since the rain started Friday evening or Saturday morning, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Laura Kanofsky. The measurements were taken between 6 and 9 a.m., Kanofsky said, so the amounts vary and will change as rain continues to fall Monday.

Kanofsky said the measurement in Roxana was provided to the National Weather Service by a member of the public, and the Alton measurement was taken at Melvin Price Locks and Dam.

“The good news is that the rain should be tapering off tonight and tomorrow looks dry,” Kanofsky said.

Kanofsky said this storm has brought record rainfall to the St. Louis area based on National Weather Service measurements.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:25 a.m.: The American Red Cross has a shelter open in Granite City for those affected by flooding. Shelters in University City, St. Peters and Pacific remain on standby. The Red Cross will continue to monitor other areas as storms roll through the state today. Those who need emergency assistance can call (314) 516-2700. The Granite City shelter is at Nameoki Methodist Church, 1900 Pontoon Road.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: The Illinois Department of Transportation said Interstate 70 between mile markers 36 and 45 near Pocohontas and Greenville in Bond County is closed because of flooding.

Rich Meile, highway superintendent for St. Clair County, said crews are closing the flood gates along Stolle Road, off of Interstate 255 and Illinois 157, to prevent water from coming over.

He added people wanting to go into East Carondelet would need to find an alternate route.

“Nothing is washed over,” Meile said. “I got crews out keeping eyeballs out on all of it. We’ve got a lot of water.”

•  •  • 

UPDATE 10:05 a.m.: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency. More than 180 roads in Missouri were closed Monday morning due to flooding.

Over the weekend, six people died when two separate vehicles drove into flooded roadways in south-central Missouri, Pulaski County Sheriff Ronald Long said; four of them were international soldiers who were temporarily stationed at an Army base. And Greene County authorities said two fatalities there were associated with the flooding.

•  •  • 

UPDATE 9:55 a.m.: Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon says an effort is continuing to identify the five Kentucky residents who drowned when trying to cross a low-water bridge on Farthing Road east of Patoka.

Cannon told radio station WJBD that none of the occupants was carrying identification. Of the identification documents loose in the vehicle, only one could be definitively matched to a victim. He reports the others are being identified through cooperative efforts between his office and the Todd County, Ky., coroner’s office. Further complicating the identification were initial questions regarding who might have been traveling with the family.

The coroner reported that while he initially indicated there were three adults and two children in the car, subsequent investigation and the process of determining positive identification with Kentucky authorities indicates that one of the teenagers who initially appeared to be an adult was, in fact, a minor child.

Cannon said although this was a family traveling together, there are step-parents on both sides of the minor children, as well as parents and family of both adults. He said the families are spread throughout Kentucky and Minnesota. In all, there are six separate families who must be officially notified as legal next-of-kin. Cannon notes this process takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and resources among numerous agencies.

•  •  • 

Weather forecasters warned that rainfall will continue throughout the day Monday before dwindling in the evening hours.

That will end nearly 60 hours of continuous rain in the region, with flooding and washed-out roads in its wake.

A low-lying,, quarter-mile section of U.S. 50 west of Lebanon was blocked at 9 a.m. because of flooding. Several cars trying to get to Illinois 4 from Pister Road to Illinois 4 south of Lebanon were stranded when heavy rains caused flooding that swept over the surface.

John Crump, an Illinois Department of Transportation worker who drove his pickup to the edge of the flooding U.S. 50, said, “I’ve never seen it this high.”

Lebanon Fire Chief Matthew Berberich, who coordinated rescue efforts on Pister Road, said motorists in the stranded vehicles had been helped to safety.

Pointing to the ditches on either side of the flooded road, he said, “The water there could be 20 feet deep.”


It's simple and it could save your life: Turn Around Don't Drown!

Posted by U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday, May 28, 2015

Motorists should take precautions while driving on rain-slick roads, and should not drive into standing water.

Cloudy skies mixed with some sunshine are forecast for Tuesday, with only a slight chance of rain. Colder conditions are expected, with a high of 38.

Forecasters said Monday should see a high of 51 with a chance of thunderstorms, with wind gusts reaching as high as 54 mph. The chance for rain is nearly 100 percent during the day before dropping to less than 10 percent after 7 p.m.

Highs in the upper 30s and a mix of clouds and sunshine are forecast for the rest of the week, with a 30 percent chance of snow on Wednesday. New Years Eve, the holiday itself and the weekend should be dry with highs in the 30s.

In Southern Illinois, Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon reported that two adults and three minors drowned in Southern Illinois after the vehicle they were riding in was swept away and sank in a rain-swollen creek. Cannon said the swift-moving East Fork Creek carried the car off a low-water bridge near the town of Patoka, about 60 miles east of St. Louis, about 7:30 p.m. Saturday. It became lodged 150 to 200 feet downstream, but shortly after the first firefighter arrived on the scene, the car became dislodged and sank.

Cannon said dive teams recovered the car from the water several hours later and the bodies of the victims from the car. The names of the victims were not immediately released. Cannon says the vehicle was traveling from Kentucky to Minnesota.

The Red Cross reported 28 people spent the night in an emergency shelter at the Nameoki Methodist Church at 1900 Pontoon Road in Granite City. They went to the shelter after three nearby mobile home parks were evacuated Sunday night.

News-Democrat reporters Casey Bischel, Brian Brueggeman, Will Buss, Joseph Bustos, Lexi Cortes, Dean Criddle, Elizabeth Donald, Beth Hundsdorfer, George Pawlaczyk and Tobias Wall contributed information for this article.

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