RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - The Randolph County, Illinois Board of Commissioners have adopted a plan in case the levees fail in Monroe County that would affect the Prairie du Rocher area.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency mobilized a Joint Quick Reactionary Task Force on Saturday, June 8 in Monroe County to assist with flood fight operations.
“This is the third task force mobilized by the State of Illinois,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “These teams provide invaluable assistance to the community. Their efforts to monitor levees, add manpower to levee support initiatives and assist the community in an emergency setting are critical to this flood fight. As the rivers continue to crest, and water moves downstream, we will continue to address the needs of the local communities by pre-positioning necessary assets.”
This Task Force will be stationed in Valmeyer round the clock, and will be able to support evacuations if they are needed. Illinois Emergency Management currently has task forces established in Hardin, Jerseyville and now Valmeyer.
According to the Randolph County Information Officer, the resolution passed by the board on Friday, June 7 authorizes emergency management to issue an evacuation advisory and “cut” a hole in the Mississippi River levee between Prairie du Rocher and Fort Chartres.
This would allow flood water inside the levee to drain back into the river.
A similar action was taken in roughly the same area during the flood of 1993.
Levee district commissioner Mark Laurent says cutting the levee and evacuating residents would be a last resort but "We have to be ready for it."
An evacuation plan has been put in place and will be implemented should it become necessary.
Officials estimate Prairie du Rocher residents would have around 36 hours to evacuate if the levee breached in Monroe County.
However, National Weather Service data shows its unlikely that the river levee would be over topped in Randolph County based on current predictions.