EDWARDSVILLE — Because of flooding throughout Madison County following three days of heavy rain, Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan Monday issued a local declaration of disaster.
At the chairman’s direction, the Madison County Emergency Operation Center was activated over the weekend and is working with communities throughout the county and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to address issues related to the flooding and deploying the necessary resources.
“Areas throughout Madison County have experienced devastating flooding, damage to roadways and water damage to our residents’ homes,” Dunstan said in a press release. “As a result of the flooding which has already occurred, the projected rise of the Mississippi River to near historic levels and the anticipation of additional problems, the county will remain in emergency response mode for the foreseeable future.”
Dunstan said the Wood River Levee District and the Metro East Sanitation District are installing flood control gates because of the rising river, expected to hit major flood level on Monday. The levee districts are monitoring the flood protection systems and maintaining contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the safe operations and stability of the flood risk management system.
“We have already deployed the county’s sandbagging equipment to the city of Alton, and sandbags have been distributed to municipalities who have requested them,” Dunstan said. “There were three evacuations of mobile home parks on Sunday due to localized flooding, the Chouteau Island Agricultural Levee, which protects more than 2,400 acres of undeveloped land, is expected to be topped later today.”
“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. There are widespread road closures,” Dunstan said. “I just want to stress that residents should use extreme caution when driving, especially after dark, and should use common sense.”
The disaster proclamation will expire Jan. 4 unless the County Board extends it.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is reporting updates on road closures at http://www.idot.illinois.gov/home/Comm/emergency-road-closures.