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Pearl Illinois residents work to fix eroded part on levee

Residents along the Illinois River are facing new challenges. Tuesday morning, residents in Pearl, Illinois, came together to fight erosion on the levee.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke Tuesday at the EMS garage in Winchester.

He came to address the flood flight, something residents who live along the Illinois River in Pearl, Illinois, said they’re struggling with.

“It’s been horrible,” Pearl resident Robert Bethel said. “Reminiscing of 1993 and the possibility of it being worse.”

Residents in Pearl are feeling the impact of the rising river, as they wait for it to crest.

For Bethel, his basement is flooded. He said he’s nervous for more rain.

“It’s in my basement and garage and has at least knocked out my water heater so far,” Bethel said. “The rest of the stuff is still up on concrete blocks since 1993, but they’re in danger now too.”

That’s not the only thing Bethel is worried about, as he came out to help sandbag an eroding spot on the levee.

Pike County Emergency Management Director Josh Martin said it’s a problem they’re trying to stay ahead of.

“Whenever they first started pumping, to keep the water out of town, it started eroding the levee where the discharge hose was,” Martin said. “So the levee has actually eroded away quite a bit. We’re trying to keep it from breaking.”

Volunteers said if that breaks, things could get bad.

“There’s a hole in the levee and if it breaches, then it’s going to get Pearl Fuel Mart, which is right down the road,” Pearl resident Debbie Buchanan said.

For Bethel, he said this flood has him wanting to move out of the area.

“You know it’s a bad flood, when the water first comes in, there’s snakes everywhere, but now the last two days, I’ve only seen one, so they’re taking to higher ground, so they left me behind, that’s pretty bad,” Bethel said.

He said it’s time to wait and see how much rain they get.

“We’re not out of the woods by any means,” Bethel said.

Martin said they’re going to continue to monitor the pumps and the levee. They are looking for volunteers to help sandbag the eroded the spot on the levee.

 

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