An Illinois River levee breach leaves portions of eastern Brown County underwater.
According to Brown County Emergency Management Director Curt Hannig, the breach happened at the Little Creek Levee on the south side of Camp Creek Thursday.
The majority of the flooded area is at the Meredosia National Wildlife refuge. Hannig says about 50 acres of farmland were flooded. Several houses in the area are now surrounded by water, including Ronald Fischer's vacation house in Versailles. Fischer now has to take an air boat to get to and from his home.
"We saw a lot of water where water isn't supposed to be.," said Fischer. "There is a levee back there which, in the past, for years and years and years the levee always held the water back."
Fischer and his wife live in Springfield and have been driving down every day to check on water levels. Fischer says last night he got the call from a neighbor that the river had breached the levee near their home.
"We got up this morning thinking what we were going to see, we saw," said Fischer. "But, it's always different in person."
What they saw surprised them. Mail boxes were submerged, cars under several feet of water and a building only visible by it's roof.
Brown County Emergency Management Director Curt Hannig was down in the river bottom Friday afternoon. Hannig says the majority of the flooded area is considered 'wet-land,' leading him to make the decision to not sandbag the levee district.
"We don't want to pull an resources that could be used in other locations such as Beardstown and Meredosia where they really need the help to get their levees strengthened up so they don't have a critical failure," said Hannig.
Luckily, Fischer's home, like many others, only has water damage to the basement. However, he says this is all a part of living on the river.
"We'll be back, there's no question about that," said Fischer. "It's too beautiful out here not to work as hard as you can in order to enjoy the fruits of your labor."
A three mile area of County Highway 12 is closed until further notice.
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