River has crested, but the battle against floodwaters continues

BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE FLOOD–Pictured is part of Evansville on Tuesday morning. While the river may have crested earlier this week, parts of the town are still flooded. For more pictures of the flooding, please see this week’s print edition.

The river has finally crested, but the battle against floodwaters is far from over.

According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River at Chester finally crested on Monday, June 10 at 46.52 feet. This is the second highest recorded crest on record, with the highest being 49.74 feet on Aug. 7, 1993.

Since then, the waters have slowly begun to recede.

Late last week and into the weekend though, was tense for some as the projected crest kept changing, and evacuations and emergency plans were discussed.

On Wednesday, June 5, the Kaskaskia River was officially closed to recreational boating in St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph Counties until further notice due to flooding-related hazards. It was noted that in the closure of the river, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police advised of high water levels, swift current, floating debris and reduced freeboard on levees, which has created conditions significantly hazardous to navigation on the Kaskaskia River.

The Randolph County Commissioners held a special meeting on Friday, June 7 to adopt a resolution approving action to limit flooding in the event of a levee failure upstream in Monroe County.

In a press release from the meeting, it noted, “Of particular concern is the Columbia Bottoms Levee System in Monroe County and how a failure there would potentially flood Fountain Creek and eventually impact the Prairie du Rocher area in Randolph county.”

For more on the flooding in the area, please see this week’s print edition.