Millions of dollars in damage caused by flooding in Alexander Co., IL

Millions of dollars in damage caused by flooding in Alexander Co., IL

ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Water levels in Alexander County, Illinois have d ropped enough to reveal some of the horrible damage the flooding left behind.

As of Monday, May 22, floodwaters d ropped lower than Miller City Road which caused several sections to be washed out.

Sherry Pecord lives in Miller City and was able to finally drive back to her home after three weeks of the area being under water.

"This disrupts our whole life," Sherry Pecord said. "There should be other things that we need to be focusing on."

Residents we spoke with said they are tired of the flooding in their county due to the unfixed Lens Small Levee that broke in January of 2016.

"We packed an overnight bag to come home which is a ridiculous statement," Pecord said. "We'll be here for a couple nights and then the water will be back up here by Wednesday more than likely and cut us off again so we'll have to stay out."

Pecord said it's an unfortunate new normal to have to live with, especially with her home sitting across the street of where the water rushes through the broken part of the levee. 

"This shouldn't be the norm," Pecord added. "This shouldn't be like, oh here comes another flood. It just shouldn't be that way."

Throughout the past year and a half, she constantly checks river levels to see if she can get to her home to stay the night. 

"I have an app on my phone where we can check the river stages. It's something we look at daily," Pecord said.

As it sits right now, river levels are still in the minor flooding range at 35 feet. In the coming days, it will rise over a foot.

"It will be back over the road and cutting us off again," Pecord said. 

We followed Pecord to her home on Monday. Along the way, the roads were littered with trees and dirt with other side roads continuing to wash out by the quick flow of the floodwaters.

Alexander County Engineer Jeff Denny estimates millions of dollars worth of damage have been caused by this latest flood. 

Denny said it costs money every time it floods to fix the damaged roads and grounds ever since the levee broke last year. 

In fact, Watson road has been fixed multiple times just in 2017 due to damage by flooding.

Pecord said this needs to stop and she wants the levee replaced quick.

"Fix the levee, then you don't have to keep replacing roads, gravel, and pavement," Pecord said. "All the money they're putting into band-aid this every time it happens, they could have already spent that money to replace that levee. It's just ridiculous."

Alexander County authorities still do not anticipate any help from state, federal or the Corps of Engineers to replace the broken levee. It will have to be done by the residents themselves and only after the area dries up.

"This is where people make their living," Pecord said. "People that don't live here still farm down here and make a living here. We're just agitated. We're just angry. We don't understand. We don't understand why it's not significant to them that this area be saved."

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