Flood Cleanup Begins in Havana
The water is receding, which is good news for communities along the Illinois River. The worst of the flooding is now behind them after peaking last week, but issues remain.
The river still has a long way to go before it goes back into its banks. In the meantime, there's a lot of cleanup to deal with.
Stanley Noll and his wife just bought their home in January.
"I know any time you are along the water you can have problems," Noll said. "But I didn't think it would get this high."
Noll's basement has been consumed by several feet of water.
"It's just one of those things that happens," he said. "There's not much you can do about it."
One reason Noll and his wife purchased the home was for great views. But having the water overtake their basement wasn't in their plans.
"If I had known it would have come up this high, I probably wouldn't have bought it," he said.
Four miles north of Naples, in Havana, the Illinois River hit a record of 27.8 feet. That's just above the previous record of 27.1 feet, set in 1943.
Property owner Wesley Hilst protected his home with a wall of sandbags. He estimates that cost about $6,000.
"The water kept coming up, and that stick is where it stopped," Hilst said. "So it would have been two more feet before it got into my building."
"I have lakefront property," Hilst said. "If you want to live along the Illinois River, you have to be prepared and not get it in your house."
The National Weather Service predicts Havana will still be in major flood stage into next week. By early next week, the water level should be around 23 feet, which will be about a four-foot drop since last week.
Downstream in Beardstown and Meredosia, the river has also crested. In Beardstown, the National Weather Service predicts they will be in major flood stage for several more days. In Meredosia, they say it will be until next week.