Volunteers prepare sandbags for flooding in Southern Illinois
The Joe Page Bridge in Hardin has been closed after the Nutwood Levee on the Illinois River was breached by flood waters Monday night.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that it would close Illinois 16/100 near East Hardin in a news release. The bridge allows access to Calhoun County at Hardin.
Around 8:30 p.m., the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook that the levee had been overtopped. Last month, Emergency Services Director Chuck Lanczkowski told the BND that if the levee is breached, the river can flood the Nutwood Flats area, which includes Illinois 16, a major road into town that residents rely on to bring in food, water and fuel.
Now, the agency is working with IDOT and the Calhoun County Highway Department to build up sections of Mississippi River Road to provide continued access to Pike County to the north, the IDOT news release stated.
An American Red Cross Shelter was opened in the Pikeland Community School at 601 Piper Lane in Pittsfield, Acting Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said in the news release. Residents have been strongly encouraged to consider evacuations.
“Please remember to follow evacuation routes and never drive into a flooded roadway,” Tate-Nadeau said. “Turn around, don’t drown.”
Calhoun County declared a state of emergency due to flooding last month.