Brookport preparing for river flooding

The flood flap gate in Brookport, Illinois, came loose from the last water event, so workers have dumped hundreds of sandbags into the Ohio River to act as a stopper.

Considering the weather forecast, city leaders worry the water could reach a critical level. The city will still have to worry about the flood gate flap until the waters recede and the flap is fixed. Until that time, city leaders are turning their attention to their neighborhood.

State crews have been working all day to provide sandbags to the city. So when the time comes, they won’t have to go far to find sandbags for their homes.

Johnnie Burrus says he always mows the lawn before it rains. He says he’s lucky to live a couple feet above the flooding danger zone, but with the uncertainty of hundreds of sandbags holding up the flap gate he says it’s hard to know if the river will flood.

“Yesterday it rained a little bit then went all the way around us,” Burrus says.

Mayor John Klaffer says he’s afraid the longer the river levels say high, the more the river water seeps through the sand bags into the town. Klaffer says the town is on edge to see how high the river rises.

“We’re trying to stay ahead of the water filling up in the town; we’re in a fishbowl, we fill up just like a fishbowl,” Klaffer says.

But they’re as prepared as they can be considering such a fluid flooding situation. Klaffer says they have volunteers and workers ready when they need help to carry sandbags to homes, but as of now there’s no plan to evacuate.

Illinois Emergency Management has lent the town two pumps to take water out of the town, just for this water event. The Army Corp of Engineers originally built the flood wall, but the towns are responsible for upkeep.

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