Voluntary evacuation order lifted in Union County, IL

(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)

UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The voluntary evacuation order in Union County, Illinois was lifted at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 8.

The order was issued for all areas of the county affected by the recent flooding.

Union County Sheriff's Office and the Union County Emergency Management Agency expressed appreciation to all the citizens who cooperated with the request.

They ask that citizens continue to monitor the conditions in their area because any future precipitation may affect receding river levels.

On Friday morning, May 5, leaders there said they were cautiously optimistic that the levee would hold back all of the water, but still wanted residents to be prepared in case of an emergency.

All levee roads in Union County were closed to public traffic.

On Thursday night, the river measured at 45 feet and rising. It was expected to crest at 48.5 feet.

The Emergency Management Agency director in Union County said sand boils were identified in a specific area west of Wolf Lake on the eastern side of the levee. Those can damage the levee, so they have to be dealt with.

Crews worked around the clock to stabilize the boils and those efforts appear to have worked.

If there were some sort of levee breach or an emergency flooding situation, the tornado sirens would be activated for a three minute period in the Wolf Lake and Ware area.

If there is an emergency evacuation, Harvel said residents should take their items of personal need. That includes medications and all forms of personal identification.

Officials are so optimistic because the northern river projections were off and it never reached the projection, so they're hoping the same happens here.

After the river crests, the EMA director expected it to stay there for a few days.

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