National Guard helps Perry County prepare for possible levee breach
PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Perry County wants to be better safe than sorry during the New Year Flood.
The county is taking several precautions for the upcoming crest of The Mississippi River.
The National Guard started round-the-clock shifts around 8 a.m. on Dec.29.
Members of the guard say their goal is to make sure residents can get to and from their homes, and keep those that shouldn't be there - out.
The National guard is also taking names of people passing into the county.
That way, if the levee does break, they know where to send rescue teams first.
One Southeast Missouri State student was trying to cross over to the Chester bridge, but had to turn around.
"Since the lovely guard just told us that we have to go back towards Cape Girardeau - we're going to take the way back by Carbondale," Kiesha Robinson said. "So we're going to cross the bridge over to Illinois and go that way."
"I'm definitely grateful that they do have people out here, you know, to warn everybody and let us know what the safe routes are and what not."
At the same time emergency officials worked to make sure the levee is secure.
You may think that the biggest concern is water going over the barrier, but officials say, water can get beneath it as well.
Sand boils are caused by a weakening in sand and cause movement with pressure made by the moving water.
Residents say they appreciate their hard work.
"I think it's awesome, and I really appreciate it," Perry County Resident Lisa Tripp said.
"I think it's kinda scary. We had a daughter that was on her way home from St. Louis last night and got caught in the I-55, so just the fact that it got worse up there kinda scares me a bit about how it's gonna go down here."
Perry County officials even used a drone to survey the mass of water.
Emergency officials believe the levee is fine at this time, but if it does breach, they plan to act fast.
County Officials say they expect the guard to stay for several days after the river crests.
Until then, crews will be on hand 24 hours a day.
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