Southern Illinois residents on the lookout for spring flooding

Snow melt and spring rain spells out one thing for those living along a river: flooding.

It is about that time and locals are paying close attention to the levels of the rivers and creeks.

The Big Muddy River in Jackson County, Illinois is rising.

“It’s not over it’s banks, but it’s pretty close,” said Margaret Fertaly.

Fertaly has lived near the banks since the 1970’s.

“I came down as a student to attend SIU and I’ve stayed ever since,” said Fertaly.

She has seen decades of Winters that have turned into Springs.

All of the snow melt and rain from Carbondale flows right into the Big Muddy.

“Which comes over here through Murphysboro, south of Grand Tower and into the Mississippi River,” said Carbondale Mayor Don Monty.

Monty says it is not just Carbondale that puts pressure on the Big Muddy.

Nearly every surrounding city, all the way up to Mount Vernon, filters their water to the Big Muddy River.

There is no changing the water path, but it can be dangerous to the locals.

“Roads do flood and people can be impacted if they need to travel or get medical attention or something like that,” said Fertaly.

To stay safe, they know to keep their eyes on the river until the levels drop.

According to the EPA, the Big Muddy River is flowing faster than a foot per second.

That is good news for this upcoming flood season; the faster the water gets to a bigger river, the less likely the Big Muddy is to flood.

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