Illinois preparing for possible historic river crests

ALTON, Ill. — The National Weather Service predicts crests along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers in the coming week could near historic levels.

Madison County emergency management officials say agencies are starting to preposition equipment near levees and the county has sent its sandbagging machine to Alton. Predictions are that the Mississippi River will crest there at 38.5 feet by next week. That would be the second-highest crest in history.

High water along the Mississippi River has forced bridges to close between Illinois and Missouri, causing extensive detours for some motorists.

The Illinois River at Valley City is predicted to crest at 26.9 feet next week. The record there is 27 feet.

Blake Roderick is executive director of the Pike-Scott Farm Bureau in western Illinois. He says he’s never seen a year with three major crests on the Illinois River.

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