Flood Waters Put Small Towns in Peril
Flood waters spilled over the banks of some Midwestern rivers, forcing some residents out of their homes while others piled sandbags to try to keep the rare winter floods at bay. This month’s near-record rainfall of more than five inches in northern Illinois has swollen area rivers, breaking through levees and swamping several towns. The river level at Peoria was up nearly six inches from Wednesday to more than 25 feet, with the official flood stage listed at 18 feet. Further north on the flooded Rock River, water levels were receding quickly around the towns of Hillsdale and Erie. But ruined roads and standing water prevented most of the several hundred evacuated residents from returning.