Rain causes disaster over much of Illinois


Gov. Edgar says engineers plan to have the bridge from Keokuk, Iowa, to Hamilton, Ill., open by Tuesday. It is 60 miles north of Quincy.


Monday is the first business day since the Bayview Bridge at Quincy was closed because of a broken levee on the Missouri side. Thousands of residents who commute between the states are making other arrangements for getting to work. The nearest operating bridge to the north is at Burlington, about 80 miles; to the south, at Alton, 115 miles.


Emergency crews continue around-the-clock patrols on the Sny Island drainage district levee, which continued to hold.


Calhoun County, bordered by both the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, was essentially cut off from the rest of the state when the Nutwood levee was overrun Sunday, flooding the eastern approach to the bridge over the Illinois at Hardin.

About 500 residents of Hardin waited stoically as waters rose above their sandbag levees and flooded 10 houses on riverfront streets. About 30 percent of the town of 1,100 was threatened.

‘‘I don’t know how it can look any worse,’‘ said Mayor Bill Horman.


Nutwood levee was overrun by the Illinois River. The small towns of Nutwood and East Hardin, in neighboring Greene County, were evacuated.


Alton authorities issued a water boil order Sunday for residents of the city and nearby towns.

The order to 17,000 customers of the Illinois-American Water Co. was a precaution against Mississippi River flood water getting into the city’s drinking supply.

The water company has erected a temporary sandbag barrier around its treatment basins high enough to withstand a crest of 40 feet, but the river was approaching that level.

High waters also were causing new irritations for motorists.

Saturday night, police closed Illinois Route 3 coming into Alton from East Alton as a precaution against the road flooding. Authorities said this will cause some traffic jams and detours.


Chester, county seat with population of 8,000, lost access to Missouri when bridge over the Mississippi closed Sunday morning because of flooded access road on the Missouri side.

At Prairie du Rocher, the levee continued to hold. Some of the 600 residents took advantage of county’s offer to help move furniture and other household items to storage on high ground.


Levees continued to hold and only seep water was getting into fields. A 10-foot sandbag wall protects water pumps supplying Anna and Jonesboro in case a levee gives way.


Sandbagging continues on the Fayville levee system north of Olive Branch. Most of the 300 residents there chose to stay in their homes when another levee broke earlier and flooded 38,800 acres of lowland around town, said Joseph Ruiz, emergency services director for the county.


Officials ordered the evacuation of about 500 people in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills about a half-mile to the north when an earthen dam was threatened by the drenching rains. Volunteers and emergency crews from the Army Corps of Engineers were sandbagging in an effort to save the structure.

The National Weather Service reported Algonquin received 3.61 inches of rain Sunday. Several inches more fell overnight Saturday.

About 67 families were staying overnight in a makeshift shelter in an Algonquin high school.


In Sycamore, about 60 miles west of downtown Chicago, 300 people were evacuated from a trailer park.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said 90 percent of the residents of Evergreen Village trailer park decided to leave their homes after officials said they should evacuate early Sunday afternoon. The rest refused.

Scott said water was as high as 4 feet in the park.

Some homes had been evacuated north of the city of DeKalb by late evening. Flooding was reported in many basements.


‘Commonwealth Edison reported as many as 10,000 people were without electricity through much of Sunday. Power was out in Sycamore, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Crystal Lake and parts of Chicago late Sunday.

‘‘This crazy quilt of a weather pattern has the pain spread around the area,’‘ said Edison spokesman John Hogan.

‘Counties of Alexander, Jackson, Randolph and Union are declared federal disaster areas, bringing the number to 24. The governor has declared 33 counties as state disaster areas.

‘Rainstorms pounded northern and central Illinois on Sunday.

‘The Illinois Bureau of Tourism’s hot line to provide information on travel throughout the state is 1-800-553-5588. It’s staffed from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.