ALTON, Ill.—The rain-swollen Mississippi River has caused flooding issues in Alton, forcing city officials to close several roads.
The National Weather Service predicts the flood crest in Alton will reach a height of about 34.5 feet on Tuesday. This crest is higher than the approximately 30.6 foot crest in April, but lower than originally forecasted, and still well short of 1993’s record 42.7 feet.
The city has used about 4,000 sandbags so far. It has also erected a 320-foot Jersey barrier flood wall.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pumping air into about 60 relief wells to increase the flow of water through the wells into the ponding area and relieve pressure from the levee. By doing this, the Corps can keep uncontrolled seepage in check and effectively lower the pressure on the levee by the equivalent of about four feet.
They also have geotechnical engineers on site around the clock to ensure the levee is performing as designed and are watching for any emerging issues throughout this flood event.
The Argosy Casino along the river is closed because of flooding that’s also blocked off access to the Great River Road leading from Alton north to Grafton. The casino is expected to remain closed until Friday.
The Con Agra Mill has implemented their flood plan. No other businesses in the city are closed.
Officials said southbound U.S. 67 is closed at the Clark Bridge heading into Missouri. Drivers are urged to use the Chain of Rocks Bridge instead.
State Route 100 between U.S. 67 in Alton to Clifton Terrace in Godfrey is also closed along with one northbound lane of U.S. 67 at the River Road.
One lane of westbound State Route 143 is closed from Lock and Dam to the Broadway Connector.