EAST ALTON - Village of East Alton Public Works Department and volunteers have been working diligently to remove concrete from the locking mechanisms at the floodgates located at IL Route 3 and Broadway.

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The gates were scheduled to be closed at 10:00 a.m. this Tuesday, Dec. 29, but the gates are unable to be shut due to the mechanisms being covered by years’ worth of concrete.

East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood was on hand at the site where teams are working as quickly as possible so that residents and businesses in its municipality can be safe from rising waters due to heavy rainfall that has occurred in the area.

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“The Army Corps of Engineers and the Wood River Levee District have order that the levees be closed for the safety of the village property and the people. We are trying to assist them in any way we can with our Public Works Department. It’s a big job.”

As far as when exactly the gates will be closed, Mayor Silkwood stated that it is too soon to tell.

“It’s pretty solid and may take a while,” he said. “We have to make sure that they’re doing it well. I’m not sure exactly when the gates will be closed but it should be with plenty of time just in case the water decides to rise up.”

Although the gates are not yet closed, crews have closed the intersection to work on the gate systems. The Illinois Department of Transportation has posted signs further down Route 3 advising drivers to seek alternate routes during the flood situations.

See "2015 Flood Photos 12/29" photo gallery below: 

See "2015 Flood Photos 12/28" photo gallery below:

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