Leaders make disaster declaration, recommend voluntary evacuation for some in Jackson County, Ill.

Jackson County, Illinois, leaders are recommending a voluntary evacuation of people in the county’s impacted flood plain area. 

The Jackson County, Illinois, Emergency Management Agency says county chairman John Rendleman is making the recommendation to prepare for record high waters on the Mississippi River later this week.

The EMA says the current crest forecast is for 49.7 feet at the Chester gauge late in the morning on New Year’s Day, and it says officials are monitoring the situation and preparing for potential threats to folks in the county.

Crews are working to shore up levees, the EMA says, and it says everyone is encouraged to stay off levee roads unless on official business.

The EMA has also made a disaster declaration for the county, which it says allows it more legal freedom in buying materials like gravel for levees, hiring people and allowing overtime. Local 6’s Rachael Krause reports that there are 700 homes inside the flood zone.

If you live in the affected area and need help with evacuation or sheltering, you can call 618-684-3137. The EMA says those evacuating are encouraged to notify the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 618-684-6773 to be included on house watch patrols in the area. A request form is available at the Sheriff’s Department.

The EMA says there are road closures for the county, which you can view here. If you want to volunteer to help fight flooding in Jackson County, you can call the Jackson County Volunteer Coordinator at 618-534-9212. 

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