Between 200 and 250 people evacuated their homes Sunday after the rain-swollen Rock River broke through a levee, while residents braced for flooding along the Illinois River in the heart of the state.
Record rainfall, as much as 4 inches in some places, helped push the Illinois near flood level, and state officials distributed 130,000 sandbags Friday. Much of the flooding was confined to farm fields.
“If it goes up another 2 feet, low-lying park areas will be flooded around Peoria Heights,” said Chris Geelhart of the National Weather Service.
In Erie, fire officials said several boat and helicopter rescues took place along the Rock River but that they had gotten out everyone who wanted out.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s Chris Tamminga said the water wasn’t flooding living quarters yet, but many people had basement flooding.