Chester Bridge to Close on June 1

Based on current river level projections, the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to close the Mississippi River Bridge at Chester this weekend.

The bridge links Perry County, Missouri to Randolph County, Illinois.

MO-DOT plans to close the bridge at noon on Saturday.

The last time flooding caused the bridge to close was in May 2017.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is activating the Illinois National Guard to respond to recent severe flooding .

The update comes a day after Madison County in southern Illinois was declared a disaster area and National Guard help was sought to aid in flood-fighting efforts. County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said the disaster exists due to record-breaking flooding along the Mississippi River.

Emergency management officials say agencies are pre-positioning equipment near levees and the county has sent its sandbagging machine to Alton. High water has forced some bridges across the Mississippi River to close between Illinois and Missouri, causing detours for some motorists.

Illinois officials are urging residents of flood ravaged communities to prepare for potential evacuation.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency acting director Alicia Tate-Nadeau says this is a serious situation and one that affected families need to be ready for.
Tate-Nadeau recommends having an emergency go bag packed with extra clothes, important documents for you and your pets, medication, glasses, cellphone chargers and an item that will provide comfort to your child during this tough time.

The American Red Cross' Dawn Morris says your go bag should also include extra clothes and medications.
She says don't forget your pets and what they might need. It's also a good idea to check on neighbors and see if they will need any help evacuating.