McClure residents watching Tropical Storm Barry

McClure flood victims fear more rain from tropical storm

MCCLURE, Ill. (KFVS) - Months of fighting floodwaters already has McClure residents exhausted.

Emergency officials say there was some relief after every floodgate from Gale to the Alexander County line was opened.

However, with Tropical Storm Barry picking up pace down south, fear of heavy rain early next week is becoming a reality.

James Myers has been coordinating the flood effort in McClure from the Sparks Ministry, which is serving as a command center for volunteers, day in and day out. He said if we get more rain, they’re in trouble.

“I mean every drop counts. We’re in a bowl,” he said, “We get the kind of rain that we might get Monday, we’re talking at least 40-50 more homes that might have more water in them.”

Myers said, because of their location in the flood plain, the last time there was an 8 to 9-inch rainfall, the floodwater in town rose by multiple feet.

Alexander County’s EMA director, Mike Turner, has also been keeping up the fight. For now, the outcome of Barry is uncertain for people around here, but still a big threat.

“It has the potential for bringing large amounts of rain, but for right now, everything’s a guess,” he said. "And it’s kind of hard to prepare for what you don’t know is coming.”

The hope for people in McClure is that the weather stays dry over the next few days. However, if the rain is as bad as it could be, Turner said it won’t help much.

“I mean days like this, yes, you do have some evaporation," he said, “but when you’re talking about 4 foot of water, it takes a lot more than a week of sunshine.”

For now, Myers, Turner, and other people helping the flood fight in Alexander County strongly suggest getting prepared for more rain. Meaning gathering food, water, batteries, and other supplies. It’s also recommended that residents find out a back up place to stay safe from flooding.

They also need people to be on standby to help with sandbagging, according to Myers.

Essentially, officials want everyone to prepare for the worst.

“Worst case scenario happens on Monday and we get 10, 12 inches of rain,” he said. "We’re not in trouble, we’re past trouble.”

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.