MONROE COUNTY, Ill. - Monroe County, Illinois has been declared a disaster area and checkpoints are in effect Wednesday in flooded areas.
With a potential historic river crest, sandbaggers have been reporting to various locations in the county as hundreds of volunteers young and old are doing what they can to prevent any more flooding.
Authorities are preparing for the Mississippi River to crest in what’s expected to become second only to the 1993 flood on record.
“It's hard for them to predict the levels and the crest with the amount of rainfall that's been coming down. They changed the crest within the hour to 45 .3 for Friday which is really good,” said Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing.
The sheriff’s department is encouraging more residents to volunteer to sandbag.
Authorities say if the level reaches 46 feet, they will ask all resident to evacuate and a curfew will be enforced.
“Once it gets over 44 feet, a lot of things can happen and it’s important to get people to prepare to move things out,” Rohlfing said.
The sheriff says residents who live in the restricted area can get a pass at the Valmeyer Village Hall and the Columbia Police Department. In a news release, the American Red Cross opened a shelter in Valmeyer in response to flooding. Nine shelters are now open in response to flooding and tornado damage in Missouri and Illinois.
Efforts are ongoing in coordination with local officials to evaluate and determine new shelter locations as needed with evolving flood conditions in the states.
A new shelter is located at the Valmeyer Community School, 300 S. Cedar Bluff, Valmeyer, Illinois.