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Residents brace for flood along Illinois River

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Residents along the Illinois River are bracing themselves for another flood.

Residents near Pike County, Illinois said the more the water rises, the bigger burden.

There's high water on the Pike and Calhoun County border, just down the street from Pearl, Illinois.

Residents are bracing themselves for what's to come.

"I've been putting up with this river for almost 50 years," resident Gerland Blumenberg said.

It's a common scene for Blumenberg, but one he said never gets easier.

"It's not all that convenient yet, but if it keeps coming up, it will be," Blumenberg said.

Water's up to Blumenberg's house already. Resident Pennie Hickey said she only expects it to get worse.

"We're getting ready for the big pre-flood that we have every year," resident Pennie Hickey said.

She said she's preparing for another year of fighting the Illinois River.

"It's a lot of time driving around, a lot of work and a lot of extra helping hands," Hickey said. "We need a lot of help out here."

As the river rises and starts to cover roads, residents said travel becomes a big inconvenience.

"We usually go to Jerseyville to go grocery shopping," resident Zachary Blumenberg said.

"It takes about a half-hour to get there, normally. Well, it turned into an hour and a half last year with the flood."

Although it doesn't look like last year, residents said they're not holding their breath, as they prepare for another fight.

"It's a lot of work and it's just hectic," Zachary said.

"People will be out sandbagging everywhere and stuff like that."

"It's going to keep coming up for a while," Gerland said.

"We just had five days of dry, so we'll see what happens."

The Pike County Emergency Management Director said they are monitoring the river in Pike County and are ready to sandbag if they need to.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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