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Beardstown: Flood Update
It's been one week since the mayor of Beardstown declared a state of emergency because of potential flooding. Since then, the Illinois River water levels have crested and are slowly starting to recede. But officials say they're not out of the woods yet.
Geraldine Leonhard sits on her front porch Sunday morning in Beardstown, waiting and praying for the best.
"I put my pictures and important things like that upstairs," Leonhard said.
Like the newspaper picture snapped from the last Beardstown flood in the 1940s. It shows her husband at one of the evacuation sites in Springfield.
"We're not that worried about the flood," Leonhard said. "My husband has lived by the river his whole life."
This time around, the concern is right here at the levees.
"We've got five right here along a 30-yard area," Mayor Bob Walters said.
The mayor showed us pink flags that show where boils are forming along the levee. The standing water in the grass eventually trickles down and floods the park that sits below.
"With an earthly levee, once that starts to happen and it starts to wash the earth away from it and it gets big enough from all the water pressure, it'll blow," Walters said.
The water is clear, which is a good sign. At the river outlook underneath a tarp, you can see water is leaking.
Sunday, Illinois River water levels were at 29 feet 5 inches and are expected to drop slowly each day. People are still taking precautions.
A laundromat took out most of its washing machines, preparing for flooding. The business is open 24 hours a day so people can access the limited machines.
For now, Beardstown waits for live to go back to normal.
"It's not going to go down real fast, and the levees are getting saturated, which is what worries me," Leonhard said.