Alexander County, IL prepared for third major flood in six years - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Alexander County, IL prepared for third major flood in six years

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ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

Alexander County residents are dealing with their third major flood in just six years and the second one in 16 months. 

Alexander County Chairman Chalen Tatum said the river levels are looking better as the Mississippi River seems to have already crested a couple feet below predicted. 

"We felt a lot of relief," Tatum said. "There's a lot of people luckily that didn't get water to their sandbags. There's some people that's real, real close. We're hoping the Ohio doesn't push more water back in our county."

Many people prepared for the worst, but that doesn't mean everyone was saved from the floodwaters. 

The town of Miller City sits right next to the Lens Small Levee that broke last year during the New Year Flood of 2015-2016. That community is seeing major flooding again since the levee has yet to be fixed.

The only way into the community is by boat because everything there is under water. 

While many homes and abandoned buildings are filling up with water, there are several homes that were prepared from the last flood and are dodging the waters while waiting until the floodwaters recede. 

"There's some that have been prepared from the last flood," Tatum added. "They put up a dirt levee to keep the water away from their house so they didn't have near the work they've been having in the last couple of floods."

It's an all too familiar situation these residents are unfortunately used to.  

"You just can't believe it's happening again," Tatum said. "It just happened 15 months ago and it's happened again. We just can't believe it. We seem like we can't get a break."

Tatum did add that they are better off this year as compared to last years flood.

"We're better off than we were last year," Tatum said. "We had about 45 to 50 homes and businesses affected last year that got water in them."

While Miller City got the brunt of the flooding yet again, it still affected other communities in Alexander County such as McClure, Gale, and Olive Branch to name a few.

Olive Branch had several homes and buildings with water up to them and inside as well. This includes Hunny's Pub that had to close off the lower part of the building due to water taking over seating rooms and their kitchen. 

Last year's flood damage came up short as they only reported 20 million dollars of damage statewide. The threshold was 22 million to receive federal assistance. 

This year Tatum said not to expect any assistance from this flood as well. 

""Not unless FEMA comes in and there's some homes damaged but we got to meet their formula for them to get any assistance," Tatum said. "But I'm not expecting to get any help because we haven't got any help in the past."

At this point they just hope the flooding will go back down soon and then they will start assessing all the damage the water has caused. 

Tatum said they hope they can get a couple of months back to back to dry up the area so that farmers can start working on rebuilding the Lens Small Levee. 

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