Cairo, Illinois, closes levee road because of high river levels

CAIRO, IL — For nearly six months Cairo, Illinois, has been dealing with high water levels in the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The levels have been so high for so long that Mayor Thomas Simpson ordered the local levee road along the Mississippi River be closed.

“I’ve never seen it get this high,” says Michael Lester. He’s lived in Cairo for more than 20 years, and he says it’s hard to believe the levee road had to be shut down.

“I go up there from time to time to check everything, you know. I got a couple of little spots that I go up there,” says Lester.

Lester and some friends are helping a neighbor put new roofing on their home by the levee. He says they can see the water from on top of the roof they’re working on.

“I don’t want to worry, because I don’t want to move out of Cairo until I’m ready,” says Lester.

Joe Griggs also lives in Cairo. He says the city is facing rising water from all around it.

“At one point the Ohio was high, and now the Mississippi is high, and we’re kind of like a little island here,” says Griggs.

Griggs says he just hopes the Levee holds.

“I know it’s going to take a while for the water to start to descend after they crest, but hopefully it will start to go down after a while,” says Griggs.

Emergency personal in Cairo stress that the levee along the Mississippi River isn’t currently in any danger. They simply closed the road because of how long they have had high water levels. They want to make sure that the levee continues to hold as the water continues to put a lot of pressure on it. Anyone who is caught driving on the levee will be prosecuted by Cairo police.

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