PONTOON BEACH - With the rising waters of surrounding lakes and ponds in Pontoon Beach, residents were forced out of their homes located in two larger mobile home parks. Due to the situation’s urgency, some of their furry friends were unfortunately left behind.

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Fortunately for those pet owners, local fire departments and volunteers made their way back to homes in the Mallard Lake and Village Green parks to rescue these endangered four-legged pets.

Pontoon Beach Mayor Mike Pagano is humbled that his community has come together to help out during these difficult times.

“There were over nine dogs and five cats that were rescued,” he said. “They have all been taken to Granite City and have been placed with foster programs so that they can be cared for until they can return home to their families.”

All of the residents of Village Green mobile home park have been evacuated due to flooding of the lake in the area.

Power was shut off in the neighborhoods earlier this week as well.

Along with most of the residents from the east side of Mallard Lake mobile home park, they have been seeking shelter at the Nameoki Methodist Church in Granite City.

“We have been blessed with the help of the American Red Cross. We have also received a large donation from Walmart,” Mayor Pagano said.

Although his town’s flooding has only damaged about a dozen homes, Mayor Pagano realized that his community could be worse for wear in comparison to the damage that has taken place in West Alton, MO., and Downtown Alton.

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“We’re not in great shape by any means, but we’re definitely not as bad as [those communities],” he said.

Mayor Pagano is also no stranger to assisting in volunteer efforts as each historical flood has occurred in the area.

“I’ve been sandbagging in every flood our area has had since 1973 when I was in high school. I bagged in the floods of ‘83, the Great Flood of ‘93, and I would be out there helping Long Lake Fire Protection District in Alton now, but there’s so much to do here,” he said.

As soon as the waters of the area’s lakes can start receding, the long process of numerous clean-up efforts will begin.

“We’re going to start pumping water again out of Mallard Lake and Village Green as much as we can,” Mayor Pagano said. “As soon as people can begin returning to their homes, we will begin the process of filtering people back into their homes out of the shelter.”

Village of Hartford has experienced flooding in the low areas of town.Another area city taking some major damage is that of Hartford. The concern rose of a possible levee breach situation off of the barrier on Canal Road on the south side of town after a photo of the levee began making its rounds on the popular social media site Facebook.

Fortunately for residents, the situation at hand was simply a soil slip off the side of the levee caused by the heavy rainfall.

Village of Hartford officials brought in the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the levee situation and stated that the area was in “no imminent threat of a levee breach.”

The Village and the Corps are continuing the monitor the levee and still stand by their statement that the area is secure from any possible levee breaches at this time and would contact residents of the town if anything were to change.

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