* Many of us vividly remember the devastating 1993 floods. Grafton residents are once again battling high waters…
Governor JB Pritzker paid a special visit to Grafton on Tuesday and announced he has activated an additional 200 Illinois National Guard soldiers for State Active Duty to engage in the state’s active flood fight along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
This came as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed an overtopping at the Nutwood Levee, which forced the closure of Illinois State Route 16 at the Joe Page Bridge near Hardin. In all, more than 400 guardsmen are reinforcing the state’s efforts to fight raging floodwaters as more precipitation takes aim on river communities.
Task Force 2 (TF2) is made up of approximately 200 soldiers supporting flood operations in the Metro East area of Illinois. The soldiers of TF2 are drawn from the 233rd Military Police Company based in Springfield, 933rd Military Police Company based in Fort Sheridan, 1844th Transportation Company based in East St. Louis, and the 709th Medical Company from Bartonville, Illinois.
* Zero disrespect is intended here. Real people are dealing with very real hardships right now. But here’s a little context…
* February 2018: Grafton isolated after flooding closes Great River Road
* March 2017: Grafton gets ready for major flooding
* July 2015: Grafton restaurateurs: the town has flooded, but we’re still open
* April 2013: Grafton Preparing To Be Cut Off By Rising Rivers
* June 2008: As the floodwaters moved south, the Mississippi River produced near-record flooding from Canton, MO to Clarksville, MO with major flooding also reported at Grafton, IL and Chester, IL.
* 1973: Flooding began in July and when it receded in November many structures (businesses and residences) were damaged, 22 of them so seriously that they were removed. After fighting the flood for 5 months, some residents left town, but most rolled up their sleeves and began the process of cleaning up and rebuilding
* June 1903: The Mississippi north of the mouth of Missouri is rising more slowly, owing to the numerous breaks in the levees above Hannibal, but will continue to rise, and a stage of 24 feet will be reached at Grafton by Saturday night.
* 1844: The water was so deep that steamboats moored in Jersey and Distillery Hollows and a bridge was built over the area now known as The Grove Memorial Park