People living on the Illinois river not holding their breath for the water to fall

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Residents on the Illinois River near Florence, Illinois aren’t holding their breath for when the water will go down, in fact it’s become a part of day-to-day life over the past month.

“I mean just to walk through that water, especially when you’re in the deep stuff you have to walk slowly because even with the right kind of clothing it’ll splash up and get in and then you’re boots are full of water and it’s just a drag,” said Detroit, Illinois township resident Kris Ridder.

Ridder said the water makes it hard to feed her animals and take care of her yard. While her dog Tank enjoys the water, she said she’s glad she moved across the street to higher ground and stocked up on supplies.

“Before it was over the road, about a week and a half ago I went to town and I have lots of cats so I got about 10 big bags of cat food and a lot of groceries, because I’ve been through this before,” said Ridder.

Neighbors said with water up over roads like these, they have to use boats and call for friends for a ride just to do basic things like go to work or grocery shopping.

“[They] come and got me the other day, but now I gotta walk out or boat out to get to him, and then he’ll give me a ride on up and and drop me off then I boat back in or walk in,” said Ridder’s neighbor Troy Hawkins.

Hawkins said he’s been doing what he can to bring supplies up to neighbors in deeper water than them.

“If anybody comes to see [our neighbor down in the deep water] I got a boat sitting there, and they take the boats and go see her, take her groceries or whatever she needs,” said Hawkins.

“It’s gone down a couple of inches, but if it keeps raining up north it’ll come down and it’ll just be the same mess all over again,” said Ridder.

While the river in the area crested Tuesday, residents said the water is taking a very long time to start to fall.

Frank Healy

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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