Madison County Officials Will Continue to Monitor Levees as National Guard Moves Out
WOOD RIVER — Emergency officials continue to discuss flooding and safety concerns along the levees in Madison County as the Illinois National Guard gets set to leave.
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Madison County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Mary Kate Brown said as waters recede there is less need for the National Guard to stay in the area.
“We expect the water levels to continue to go down and there is no longer a need for 24-hour patrols along the levees,” Brown said.
The National Guard will finish their shifts Tuesday morning and deploy Madison County on Wednesday.
“As safety precaution people will still not be allowed on the levees,” Brown said.
She said the No. 1 reason for keeping people of the levees was due to the saturation length of the earthen barriers.
Although the Flood Prevention District of Southwest Illinois, with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, made significant upgrades to the levees over the past decade and appears to be no problems officials with EMA, Wood River Drainage and Levee District and Metro East Sanitary District want to take extra precautions.
Madison County started experiencing moderate flooding on the Mississippi River in late March.
On April 1, the City of Alton installed its floodwall downtown and by mid-May waters receded and cleanup began. Within two weeks of taking down the wall and starting cleaning up the city was reinstalling it in anticipation of floodwaters.
On May 29, Prenzler signed a proclamation declaring Madison County a major disaster and called on the National Guard to aid in its flood fighting efforts. The governor responded immediately by calling out troops.
On June 1, a detachment of 10 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 123 Field Artillery Regiment arrived in Hartford.
On June 10, 60 soldiers from the 33rd Military Police Battalion, 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade arrived to replace the 10. Twenty soldiers were placed in Alton and 40 remained in Hartford.
The National Guard along with local law enforcement and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department patrolled and monitored the flood wall in downtown Alton and the 44 miles of levee. Local police and sheriff’s deputies will continue to monitor the levees.
“The ‘no trespassing’ policy will remain in place until an undetermined time,” Brown said.
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