Rushville preparing for "once in a lifetime" flood - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Rushville preparing for "once in a lifetime" flood

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RUSHVILLE, Ill. (WGEM) -

Residents in Rushville are preparing for a once in a lifetime flood, as the Illinois river is about to overflow that levee.

Rushville Mayor Scott Thompson says not only will the city's water supply be in jeopardy, but a handful of homes could also be destroyed.

"The chair I used to sit in to watch TV was over there," said Michael Dyche.

Dyche is cleaning out his home of over 40 years Monday, as he prepares for the Illinois river to top it's levee and over-take his home.

"It's going to be tough,but that's just one of the things of living in the river bottoms, and like I said we kind of learn to live with it," said Dyche.

Dyche's home is just one of a few homes that lies in the Rushville bottoms, an area expected to be completely flooded if the nearby levee is breached.

Also located in the Rushville bottoms-- the city's water wells, which are at risk for contamination if river water exceeds their elevation.

And Mayor Thompson says if the levee is breached his biggest cause for concern isn't necessarily the city's water wells, it's the water power supply plant that supplies those wells with much needed power.

"If the river tops the levees, and reaches this point here to the power source then we would not be able to pump the full volume of water up to our treatment plant to get to the city," said Thompson.

Still unsure if the Illinois river will actually top the levee, Thompson says city crews have already sandbagged the water's electric supply and are currently working to add a makeshift fence to heighten the levee.

"Everything I understand this does pose the highest potential damage we've had here for the water supply in history," said Thompson.

But no matter what happens-- Dyche says he's done for good when it comes to living in the river bottoms.

"We bought a house in town, it's not ready to go yet, but we're going to move in there," said Dyche.

Mayor Thompson says the city will be under a boil order starting Thursday for routine maintenance.

And Advises residents go buy extra bottles of water, just in case flood waters do affect the water supply.

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