Alexander County officials: Flooding 2019 is the ‘worst’ ever

What’s next for Miller City Road, run-aground barge, and the Lens Small Levee

Miller City, Ill. clean up

MILLER CITY, Ill. (KFVS) - The price tag for flood damage in Alexander County will likely be in the millions of dollars.

In Miller City, the high water is responsible for broken roads scattered debris, and even brought barges through the broken Len Small Levee.

Alexander County Highway Engineer Jeff Denny said the southern Illinois 2019 flood is the worst flooding and road damage he has seen in his 21 years on the job.

“It’s a pretty frustrating situation,” he said. “You don’t want to have to do this every second or third year…to come out here and have damages like this.”

That damage kept some people away from their homes for months.

“We removed all the debris and got it back to where at least everyone has at least a one way to get out of their houses now,” Denny said.

The massive trees and road damage on Miller City Road tell the story.

Denny said he is hopeful the Federal Highway Administration will provide 100 percent emergency assistance for the repairs.

“We should be in good shape on the federal government funding the bulk of the cost for the repairs."

This “long, drawn-out flood event” along with the Len Small Levee has caused another problem these barges that currently sit on a private farm field.

Jonathan Bennett with Hines Furlong Line’s Manager of Safety and Compliance said they company plans to move on it.

“We have to wait for the river levels to fall in order to survey the land and assess the situation further,” he said.

“It’s going to be a long recovery,” Denny said. However, he’s hopeful the Len Small Levee will get fixed one day.

“I’m a little more optimistic at this point – that maybe things with the corps are going to change and things will happen like I said we don’t really know at this point.”

Recently, U.S. Representative Mike Bost had a hearing with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to fix federal law that would allow for more resources to repairs.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.