Midwest Flooding: Evacuations in Illinois

Tuesday, June 17th 2008, 12:44 pm
By: News 9

OAKVILLE, Iowa (AP) -- Some people have had to be rescued, and more have been told to evacuate, as the rising Mississippi River rises over its banks. A levee near Gulfport, Illinois, wasn't able to hold back the rising water.

Western Illinois officials are urging residents to evacuate from waterlogged areas around the river, near the Illinois-Iowa line. Officials say floodwaters are threatening about 7,500 acres. One official says U.S. Highway 34 could be under 10 feet of water within 15 to 20 hours. The river's crest isn't expected until this evening.

Several people have had to be rescued, including a motorist trapped on top of his car. Part of a highway and the Great River Bridge have been closed.

About 20 miles downriver, a railway bridge has been closed to car traffic near the Iowa-Illinois line. About 30 people are working to raise the tracks above floodwaters. Officials say railway traffic has not been disrupted.

A state official says there have been more than a half-dozen levee breaches in Illinois in the past week or so.