UNION COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Officials in Union County say, for now, river levels and the levee are stable. However, the sheriff’s office wants residents in the Ware and Wolf Lake areas to be ready to evacuate in the event of an emergency.
Sheriff Scott Harvel issued the advisory yesterday, saying they’re keeping a close eye on everything flood threat related, and the approximately 600 residents in the area should too.
In the event of a levee breach, Sheriff Harvel says they will sound off the tornado sirens for three minutes. If there happens to be an actual tornado, there won’t be a difference. Which is why he strongly encourages people to be up to date with emergency information on the river.
“We don’t want to panic people or scare them,” he said. "But at the same time we want them to be prepared if they do have to evacuate.”
He recommends that people in this area collect important items like prescriptions, birth certificates, precious items, or anything else you don’t want destroyed by flooding to be ready to leave the house at a moments notice.
Sheriff Harvel also said it’s not the worst idea to put important items that residents don’t have time to move in an emergency to higher floors in the house if possible. Additionally, he suggests that people in the floodplain take pictures of their home before possible flooding as a way to show damage afterward.
He also stresses the importance of having a plan for family members should flooding strike. Keep in contact with loved ones in the floodplain, have a means of communication, and an area to reunite at in the event of an emergency.
And of course, Harvel stresses the importance of not driving over a flooded road. If you come across any road with running water over it, don’t chance it and find an alternate route.
Harvel said he’s been in contact with the levee commission on a daily basis, who tell him while the river levels remain stable, residents should be okay.
“Right now, I think we’re in good shape. We’re stabilized, but the main focus is all about preparedness," he said. "Because we don’t know what’s gonna happen.”