Crews repairing roads washed out by flooding in Miller City

MILLER CITY, IL — Floodwaters have washed out roads in Miller City, Illinois, which is near a broken levee. This week, Alexander County Highway Department crews have been working to repair those roads.

Sherry Pecord lives close to the broken levee and owns a popular bar and restaurant nearby. She said washed out roads forced her to close her restaurant for a couple of days.

“It’s aggravating that we go through this over and over again. I own a business, and it affects me on both sides. My husband farms, and we own this restaurant and this water impact us in both places,” said Pecord.

The Alexander County Highway Department spent the week patching up Miller City Road. It’s the second time that road has washed out lately.

David Stevens with the highway department said washed out roads can be dangerous for drivers. “While the water’s over it, if you drive through the water, you can’t see the washout and you just drive out in a hole,” said Stevens.

Crews are putting large rocks out and digging a ditch along the road in hopes of preventing another washout. “So that way, when the water comes over, it hits the bigger riprap first, and hopefully it doesn’t wash it out,” said Stevens.

Pecord said she’s grateful for the highway department’s quick action.

“They’re getting us patched up as quickly as they can,” she said.

But, she said, they need a permanent solution.

“The Corps needs to fix the levee bottom line,” said Pecord.

When Alexander County’s Len Small Levee breached in 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers declined to pay for the repairs. At the time, the Corps said the estimated $16 million repair cost outweighed the economic benefit of fixing it.

Until it is repaired, Pecord said she wakes up every day wondering what’s next.

The Alexander County Highway Department estimates it has spent $50,000 to make repairs to Miller City Road as of March 7, 2019.