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Waters keep rising in central Illinois

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 17:03:35 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

City officials in Peoria have closed streets along the riverfront and are anticipating a record flood over this weekend and early next week. Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich says streets and parking lots along the Illinois River in downtown are closed to all but emergency traffic. Sand bags and other barriers are being put in place in some spots. The river is expected to crest at 29.9 feet sometime Tuesday morning. The record crest was 28.8 feet in 1943. Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard urged people to avoid flooded streets He said officers will be stationed in the riverfront area.

Spring storms continue to push rivers and creeks higher across central Illinois and force the evacuations of homes and businesses in widely scattered communities. Roanoke continues to have people evacuated and sheltering in a red cross center. The Vermillion River in Pontiac is at flood stage. In Villa Grove south of Champaign police department employee Beth Elston said 10 homes were evacuated early Friday. Two local shelters were opened as the Embarras River rose. And a turn to colder weather brought scattered snow flurries and sleet. In the town of London Mills the Spoon River spilled over a levee and flooded parts of the community. About half the town's 500 residents were evacuated. London Mills is about 35 miles west of Peoria.

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