Flooding Causes Evacuation For Communities Along Mississippi River

(CHESTER, IL) — Concerns about record flooding along the Mississippi River from the recent heavy rain have led Jackson County officials to order a voluntary evacuation of residents in areas impacted by the flood. The river is expected to crest at 49.7 feet at Chester late tomorrow morning. Union County officials are asking residents in low lying areas to consider evacuating and not returning until water levels go down. Those living in the Wolf Lake and Ware areas will hear the tornado sirens go off for a three minute period in the event of a levee breach or flooding situation. All other tornado siren testing in the county has been suspended until further notice. And all levee roads in the county are closed at this time. Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday issued a state disaster proclamation for Jackson County and six other counties to ensure state support to help communities respond and recover from flooding caused by the recent heavy rains. City officials in Carbondale say due to flooding, Amtrak will bus train passengers using the City of New Orleans train between Carbondale and New Orleans. This will go on for about a week. Passengers will ride the bus from Carbondale to south of Memphis where they will reboard Amtrak. Passengers coming north from New Orleans will get on the bus at Memphis and ride to Carbondale where they will reboard Amtrak. Illini and/or Saluki train services will not be affected. State prison officials have begun transferring some inmates from the Menard Correctional Center in Chester due to some minor flooding in some cells. The facility houses nearly 3,700 inmates. State officials did not indicate how many inmates were forced to relocate. Several roads across the area are still closed due to flooding. You can find out the latest road information and river stage levels at ready.illinois.gov. Jackson County deputies were involved in a water rescue shortly before 10 last night on Keebler Lane in Murphysboro. Sgt. Mark Wilson, with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, says Timothy and Berniece Antrim were trapped on their property by high water with no way out. Wilson says the water was too deep to travel with a four wheel drive vehicle, so a small jon boat was used. Members of the Pomona and Somerset Township Fire Departments successfully removed the Antrim family and their dogs with any problems.