Photos from storm destruction across the Mid-West
This week has gone from worse to just plain awful.
London Mills, Ill., is reportedly being evacuated after its levee was breached on Thursday by flood waters. An early report even claimed that the National Guard has been called in to assist with the crisis.
From The Atlantic:
Police are ordering the entire town out their homes. London Mills is not a big town — it’s actually more of a village with a population of 390 — but the prospect of the entire community being swept away by floodwaters is just another extraordinary disaster in an extraordinarily disastrous week.
The weather situation in Illinois isn’t isolated to London Mills. Heavy rains across the state have been causing problems all day as streams swelled into rivers and rivers grew into lakes in this mostly flat part of the country. The National Weather Service estimates that three to seven inches of rain have fallen on the Chicagoland in the last 24 hours. (April showers?) The storm corresponds with a 98-year-old water main breaking in Chicago. The break in the water main led to a breach in the sewage system which ultimately sucked up all of the surrounding soil. This created a sinkhole that swallowed three cars, injuring one person.
The trouble isn’t yet over. The water in London Mills is expected to continue rising through Friday morning, though hopefully the residents will have moved to higher ground by then. The situation in Chicago is calming down but clean up is bound to be complicated as many tunnels under the city have filled up with water, not to mention countless basements, streets and viaducts. It’s a mess.
And there’s this from the Chicago Sun-Times:
The Central Illinois town London Mills was being evacuated after a levee was breached Thursday night, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
The entire county was under a flood warning Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Authorities had few details about the evacuation. The town, about 37 miles west of Peoria, sits on the southern banks of the Illinois River. It had a population of 392 as of the 2010 Census.
However, WGIL disputes early reports involving the National Guard:
Reports that the national guard was called in to assist with the situation are untrue according [London Mills Police Chief Scott] Keithley.According to a press release, the levy was not breached. Keithley tells WGIL that the town is asking drivers to stay away.
“Anybody who resides in that specific area of town, we are asking them to get any personal belongings that they need and to leave,” says Keithley. “If you are in the safe zone we are asking that you stay in your residence.”
The London Mills Police Department says that the Spoon River is expected to crest at 27 feet by Friday evening.
And although the following report from Central Illinois Proud doesn’t exactly dispute early reports, it certainly adds to the confusion of the situation:
WMBD spoke to the dispatcher in Fulton County asking for an update about the status of the National Guard. At this time they are unable to release any new information on their status. Police are urging residents to evacuate.
Seriously, week, whatever we did we’re sorry: