The heavy rains and storms caused a huge flood in our town. Several people had to be evacuated on the south side of town, some of them by boat, and it sounds like we’re going to lose a few buildings and homes.
Mill Street is still totally submerged. The American Legion Post on the right recorded 56″ of water inside. That wall, built after the last flood, is 42″ high.
I don’t think of flooding when I picture our town. Our elevation is right around 750′, and as you drive west toward Peoria, it drops significantly to a little over 300′ at the Illinois River. However, that water has to start somewhere, and it came rushing out of the fields and quickly drowned out the creeks that keep the town dry during an average rainfall. 5″ of water in one night doesn’t sound like much when you’re talking about a placid pool, but all that water is going to flow—and accumulate—somewhere.
I’m fortunate my house is on the north side of town, which is the higher side of town. We had some water come in through our back door, and at one point the drain quit for a short period of time when the surge overwhelmed the city sewer system. For us it was more mess than damage, though. Downstream, drains and sewer lines backed up into some homes.
We canceled school Thursday due to some flooding at our junior high. My office (and all of our servers) are below ground level, so I stopped in and checked them out, then took a quick ride around town. Several streets were still blocked. The water had receded, but not much.
Debris shows how the water rose over these mine carts overnight.
There’s more rain coming next week. It’s not supposed to be near as bad, but we’re hopeful most of this will be drained away by then.
Meanwhile, my old stomping grounds in the Chicago suburbs saw some flooding, too. Portions of I-55 (the Stevenson to Chicagoans) were closed, and I saw some photos of neighborhoods I recognized sitting underwater. When storms stretch from Oklahoma almost to Canada and the clouds reach 45,000 feet elevation, nowhere is safe.
Locally and nationally, it’s been a crazy week. It will be nice if things calm down a bit this weekend.
About Mike Oliveri
Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. His Bram Stoker Award-winning first novel, Deadliest of the Species, was just reprinted by Evileye Books.