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Illinois River farmers brace for flooding

Illinois River 2019

The Illinois River is expected to crest on Tuesday, putting some farmers and rural residents in a similar situation as 2019.

Pike-Scott County Farm Bureau Executive Director Blake Roderick tells Brownfield, the short-term rain forecast is only about an inch, but their concern is the rain further north.

“It’s when it rains in Chicago, Springfield and Peoria where it doesn’t swell up, it just come right of the streets into the creeks and then we get it 4 or 5 days later.”

After significant flooding in 2019, he says area farmers came into this planting season wearing the lenses from last season.

“‘We are going to get the crop in. We don’t care how early it is. If we have to replant, we will replant, but we are going to get our crop in and we aren’t going to wait.’ So, I think most of the crop is in and they aren’t up very high, but we need some sunshine and growing degree days.”

Governor Pritzker has declared a state of emergency for Pike, Scott, Grundy and Morgan counties deploying the national guard and other resources to initiate sandbagging and other mitigation efforts.

Roderick says the good news is the Mississippi River is flowing well, unlike last year, so excess water from the Illinois River has somewhere to go.

Interview with Blake Roderick

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