Alexander County takes precautions to prevent flooding

CAIRO, IL —  Some communities took special precautions to make sure certain areas in southern Illinois didn’t flood Monday.

City leaders in Cairo, Illinois, said the city hasn’t flooded in several years. That’s partly because of special precautions they have taken, such as pumps for water and the flood wall.

Neighbor Dewayne Davis said that doesn’t stop him from checking on water levels every time it rains.

Davis has lived in Cairo all his life. In his 52 years there, he said he has never seen the town flood, but he has seen a close call.

“It scares me. I don’t want it to be like years ago when we had to evacuate,” said Davis.

John Meyer is a member of Alexander County Emergency Management. He said so far things are looking good in the county. The county may put up a flood gate in Cairo just as a precaution, but he said their system has handled much more before.

“Back in 2011, we had a lot of rain and tested the sewer system, and it stood up to it. I feel really confident about our system,” Meyer said.

Although Davis said he has confidence in the city, that still doesn’t stop him from checking on the water levels from time to time.

“That’s when I get worried — when they put those gates up. That’s when I come and really look. I  think ‘Aw man, I hope it doesn’t look that way,” said Davis.

Meyer said they have several portable pumps for backup just in case one breaks down or they need extra support.

The Jackson County Emergency Management Agency said it is monitoring the Big Muddy and the Mississippi rivers. They said they had no reports of flooding or closed roads.