Residents in Alexander County begin cleanup - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Residents in Alexander County begin cleanup

Great River Road Tourist information kiosk located near Thebes, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS) Great River Road Tourist information kiosk located near Thebes, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS)
Great River Road Tourist information kiosk located near Thebes, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS) Great River Road Tourist information kiosk located near Thebes, Ill. (Source: Loreto Cruz, KFVS)
ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

By Friday, January 8, water levels dropped in Thebes, Illinois by more than 5 feet, revealing homes and roadways covered in muck and debris.

Properties a few miles downstream, like that of Richard “Dynamite” Johnson, were fully visible again.

Johnson, in his late seventies, spent much of the day cleaning up debris around his rural property, taking tabs on what floated away.

Water covered his entire property and left his home only accessible via boat.

On the far edge of his yard, a marine life saver was entangled 20 feet high in a tree, and the only part visible of a nearby pickup truck was the cab.

“Got a lot of cleanup to do,” Johnson said, “and this is the second time it’s hit me, usually it won’t get any further than the edge of my property, but this time it got out of hand like it did in 2011.”

Like many, Johnson plans to replace carpeting and drywall in the lower portion of his home.

“There are so many people still under water right now, I really feel sorry for them,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s home is only a few miles from the Len Small Levee, which failed on January 2, allowing floodwaters as far as 6 miles inland.

Johnson said some residents of nearby Miller City have remained in their homes for the past week, occasionally gathering supplies by boating across Horseshoe lake.

For updated river stages, click here.

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