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100 Days of Flooding

Illinois hit 100 consecutive days of severe flooding on June 18.

The flooding began in northern Illinois on both the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, with the crest working its way down through the tip of southern Illinois. Flooding occurred from LaSalle County south along the Illinois River to Calhoun County and from Jo Daviess County on the Mississippi River to Alexander County.

Most of the transportation routes close to these rivers have been impacted. Some are still flooded. Among the worst-hit areas are Hardin in Calhoun County, Meredosia in Morgan County, Grafton in Jersey County, and East Cape Girardeau and McClure in Alexander County.

Throughout the floods, IDOT has worked to maintain safe travel conditions for first responders and the motoring public. As flooding persists, maintaining transportation routes continues to be a significant issue.

Since Day One, IDOT has been filling resource requests, providing end loaders and operators, de-watering pumps and up to 45 trucks on a daily basis to assist with flood fighting operations. The department has purchased and hauled thousands of tons of rock, more than a million tons of sand, more than four million empty sandbags and more than one million filled sandbags along with rolls of plastic and pallets of drinking water. IDOT has also responded to requests for technical assistance concerning the operational integrity of dams and local roads.

“IDOT has been the workhorse during this response,” said Gene Felchner, supervisor of the Transportation Infrastructure Security Section in Central Office’s Bureau of Operations. “Between the districts and Day Labor, IDOT has filled almost 600 resource requests related to the above response activities. IDOT has also completed missions to repair and build up roads to allow first responders to carry out their assigned tasks and allow the general public to access local services.”

Throughout this lengthy event, the districts and Day Labor have worked tirelessly to make a difference. “Led by our district operations engi­neers, our staff have worked very long work days, including weekends, to en­sure that badly needed resources are delivered before it is too late,” Felchner said.  As the flood waters recede, the next step will be recovery operations to determine the extent of damages and provide cleanup and repairs.

“Assessments are going on as the wa­ter goes down to determine the actual damage to both our roadways and bridges,” Felchner said.