Towns along Illinois River stepping up sandbagging efforts - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Towns along Illinois River stepping up sandbagging efforts

PERRY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Illinois River is expected to hit record levels later this week as the flood fight has hit a feverish pitch in many communities.

The National Weather Service expects the river to get to 28 feet in Valley City, breaking the previous record of 27 feet. Something Perry residents say they're preparing for, but weren't expecting.

"You look at what the river is now and how much levee is left and you think, how can it be?" said Richard Myers, commissioner for the Drainage District in Perry.

Myers says when he saw the Illinois River flood predictions for this week he was in shock.

"You thought, maybe that's almost impossible," said Myers.

To combat the rising waters, sandbagging efforts ramped up Monday in Perry with dozens of volunteers filling sandbags, helping to build up the levee.

Not every spot along the levee is being sandbagged. Officials hired a GPS monitoring agency to find low spots which are being marked by flags. Those low spots are now where sandbaggers are concentrating their efforts.  

Sharon Wiese has farmed in Perry area for 22 years and is worried about her land.

"The concern is for the ground because if it floods, then we may or may not be able to get a crop planted this year depending on how fast it goes down," said Wiese.

Myers says his concern is not only for the loss of farm ground, but with what else lies beyond the levee.

"There's wells for the city of Griggsville are down here and we certainly want to protect them if at all possible," said Myers.

All that's left to do now is prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

"We do constantly monitor," said Wiese.

"Just keep on sandbagging and watching the forecast," added Myers.

Help is still needed to fill sandbags for the remainder of the week. There will be a staging area set up where County Highway 21 meets County Highway 5.


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