ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - The Mississippi River was originally expected to crest at Cape Girardeau on Sunday, Jan. 3, but instead reached its highest point a day earlier.
Local leaders in several riverfront towns, and Illinois Emergency Management agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said that's presumably due to several levee malfunctions further downstream.
"Honestly, we were most concerned about the Len Small Levee… but now I guess we don't have to be" Thompson said over the phone on Saturday. "Water started rushing over it yesterday afternoon, and eroded away a whole portion by early Saturday."
Water that passed through the Len Small extended as far as six miles into Illinois, completely isolating towns like Miller City and Fayville Illinois.
"Everyone from those towns are accounted for," Horseshoe Lake Fire Chief Michael Honey said over the phone on Saturday. "Even the folks who chose to stay in their home and are now surrounded by water, authorities have made contact with them."
Honey said Illinois State Police set up a command center in the Horseshoe Lake Fire Department building and parking lot, and are joined by representatives from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois Mutual Aid Box Alarm System.
The agencies are cooperating in communication and mapping efforts, as well as coordinating any rescues that become necessary.
"Here in Alexander County, it's the worst that we've seen," Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said from the county on Saturday. "The levees have been breached in at least five locations. The waters are coming over at a pretty high pace."
Rauner spent most of the weekend, and part of the previous week touring areas dealing with the New Year Flood.
The Red Cross has set up shelters for flood victims in Cape Girardeau and Ullin, Illinois.
For more information on the Flood, Click Here.