Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Floodtown, Illinois
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Floodtown, Illinois

Thursday, Jun 6, 2019

* 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

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    The 1993 flood was the inspiration for the Son Volt song Tear Stained Eye on the Trace album.

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    ===inspiration for the Son Volt song Tear Stained Eye===

    And “Get Down, River” by the Bottle Rockets.

  3. - Gruntled University Employee - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    “Looks like the Gulf of Mexico down by the Texaco”

  4. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    Pritzker’s and the legislature’s next major action absolutely has to be a climate change mitigation plan.

  5. - Answers - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    Anon - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    There is a historical pattern. This is not climate change

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    There is such a need to prepare and build the infrastructure to handle this new normal, regular flooding. This is where a trillion dollar federal capital bill could come in handy. And the feds need to referee the various state disputes about levees and channeling and force a plan that prepares the center of the country to co-exist with 500 year floods happening every 5 years or so.

    It’s probably too late to stop climate change, but we better get serious about managing its effects. Some of that great fertile bottom land is going to become permanent wet lands. We can’t change nature, but we can adapt.

  7. - nadia - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    The increased frequency can certainly lead one to believe it’s due to climate change.

  8. - Not a Russian Bot - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    @ Answers. What is the historical pattern you see that proves climate change is not involved in the repeated flooding along the Mississippi River?

  9. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    “It’s probably too late to stop climate change” Especially if we do nothing and deny that it’s real.

  10. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    The floods are partially man made, but it is more about eliminating flood plains and wetlands and building levees that channel the water higher and faster.

  11. - JT11505 - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:54 pm:

    Forget the flood talk, I just found my retirement home - Distillery Hollows.

  12. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Just did a Google map of Grafton, shifting between map and satellite view. Water Street indeed.

  13. - Macoupin Manny - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    I’m not sure you can build levees tall enough or wide enough to circumvent substantial property loss if we end up with century level floods every 25-30 years. Sure, you can save the farmland and towns by building the best and tallest levee if your given enough money, but that will just divert the water to your neighbors accross the river/downstream who don’t have the resources to build a 60 foot levee wide enough hold a river.

    And while I personally believe that climate change is a factor in the frequency of these floods, so is building taller and levees.

  14. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    I hope the people who live there have good flood insurance.

  15. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    We are going rolling…. rolling… rolling down the river…

  16. - M - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    “Sure, you can save the farmland and towns by building the best and tallest levee if your given enough money, but that will just divert the water to your neighbors accross the river/downstream who don’t have the resources to build a 60 foot levee wide enough hold a river.”

    You are right the tall levees need to be all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, but don’t look for any federal money to help build those tall levees anytime soon.

  17. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rich, Are the Quid Cities under water too?

  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    ==I hope the people who live there have good flood insurance.==

    With 6 major flood events in the last 11 years (as opposed to 3 between 1844 and 1973), only the federal government would be dumb enough to provide flood insurance in Grafton. It’s a great little town when it’s not underwater (shout-out to the Fin Inn), but I doubt a climate change plan is going to help anytime soon. Might be cheaper to pack everything up and head to higher ground

  19. - SOIL M - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    One reason that major flooding occurs more frequently on the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers is indeed Man-Made. And the Men who made it work for the Army Corps of Engineers, and Developers along those stretches of rivers who have forgotten the lessons learned from the 1927 Flood. While major flooding does occur on the Lower Mississippi, it is less frequent and less devastating because there is less construction along the sides and in the channel of the river. They remember what was learned and give the Mississippi more room to spread, and not have going up as the only course.
    Also, several Federal Buy Outs have occurred since the 1993 and 2011 Floods which have moved many people out of flood plains. As I am in a County that is 6 months now into a flood event, it gets to the point that you have to wonder, if you have gone through this same thing that many times, but havent taken advantages of offers to relocate, dont you have to take some responsibility for what is happening to you now? And yes, like Rich, I mean no disrespect to those who are fighting through this including those who moved into these areas not knowing this happens on a near regular basis. Many have taken advantage of buyouts and moved out of flood plains, some didnt and now regret it but those who choose to stay and have no wish to change, know what to expect.

    And no, you can not build levees tall enough to hold it all, you have to give the river room to spread outward.

  20. - Macoupin Manny - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    “You are right the tall levees need to be all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, but don’t look for any federal money to help build those tall levees anytime soon.”

    Agreed. It’s not going to happen.

    The cheapest fix, and the least popular one would be to tear down the oversized levees and buy up the flood plains.

    Fewer levees, fewer floods. Purchase price of the low lying plain would be a small fraction of a capital investment in a 4000 mile, 60 ft levee.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:29 pm:

    ===While major flooding does occur on the Lower Mississippi, it is less frequent and less devastating because===

    Because it backs up the river so it floods up north.

    Fixed it for ya

  22. - Boat captain - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    The reason there are more frequent floods is because the EPA won’t let the dredges pump the spoils out of the river on the bank. Because they say it is contaminated. They can only pump it to another spot in the river. There is no depth to the rivers anymore, just dredged to maintain the depth the barges need to maneuver. But yet they let us eat the fish out of the river, wouldn’t they be contaminated too? Lived and worked on the river most of my life. The floods will just get higher. Look at the recent flood maps the feds put out. Check where they put the lines. Just proves the point they know what is going to happen.

  23. - SOIL M - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Because it backs up the river so it floods up north.

    Not true. The Lower Mississippi below Cairo is much wider and has more flood plains to spread out into. There is not near as much construction on and beside the river as there is on the Upper Mississippi, from Cairo North. It also has the ability to back up the Ohio Valley, as it currently is and is the reason it is still above flood stage at Cairo.
    There is a world of difference between the Memphis District and the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers and their ideas on construction and flood control.

  24. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    SoilM @3:27 &3:40. You are correct.

  25. - BMC - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    Maybe the government should rethink disaster planning and assistance and stop subsidizing people living in harm’s way. There are just some places that are too risky and environmentally sensitive to live. Rather than rebuild in dangerous areas, maybe we should relocate.

TrackBack URI

This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Open thread
* Fun with numbers
* Illinois tried tightening up religious exemption for vaccinations, but failed
* Feds finding it difficult to staff Thomson prison
* Ald. Ervin appears to hand Justice Burke a win
* Congressional candidate praises sponsors for making tax hike "happen," then blasts opponent who voted for it
* WIU president leaves amid chaos
* Rep. Reick shoots back at the capital bill naysayers
* Moody's: Budget, capital bills "credit positive" for local governments, schools
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller