Residents behind Len Small levee in Thebes, IL, advised to seek higher ground

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has put out an emergency evacuation for residents in low lying areas behind the levee. 

The agency says the levee is expected to be overtopped sometime during the day on Friday, Jan. 1, and says "everyone  in the area is encouraged to be proactive and take action now."

Areas affected include Fayville, Miller City, Willard, Olive Branch, Hodges Park, Unity, Sandusky, and Cache.

The announcement from the agency goes on to say:

"Officials are asking anyone that leaves their homes to contact one of three numbers to advise them of the address and contact information for the home owners.  Those numbers are: Chalen Tatum – Alexander County Board Chariman at (618) 521-8102; Tim Brown – Alexander County Sheriff at (618) 203-6057; or EMA Operations at the Alexander County Highway Department at (618) 776-5431.  Officials will compile a list of impacted residents so we know you made it safely out of the area and set to up extra patrols for the areas affected.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, MO to assist residents in the impacted areas.  The address for the Centre is 1625 North Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO and their telephone number is (573) 339-6342."

The Alexander County, Illinois, Board of Commissioners Chairman Chalen Tatum says the Mississippi River is expected to crest at 49 feet on Sunday.

Tatum says the water will go over Len Small levee, which can only hold 47.5 feet.

"Please seek higher ground if you live behind this levee. If you have left your home call 618-776-5242 so we know you made it out safely," Tatum says.

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