Stay Safe During Flooding

Jun 11, 2019

As floodwaters threaten southern Illinois towns, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants people to stay safe.

Deputy Coordinator Orval Rowe offered some advice for residents.

"Turn around, don't drown," he said, referring to drivers. Don't try to drive on closed roads and even if the road is still open, don't attempt to drive through water. It's impossible to tell how deep water is or what the condition of the road underneath is like.

Drivers should also be aware that all the levees are closed and anyone attempting to drive on them will be fined. 

"It's very dangerous because the water is very close to the back side of the levee," he said. "If you loose control and drive into the water, there's no way somebody's going to be able to get there in time to help."

Rowe also emphasized the dangers of contaminants in the water as a result of breached levees upstream.  He said he'd be careful about eating fish caught in the rivers and people should avoid letting the water touch their skin. Anyone who might come into contact with the water should wear tall boots, gloves, and long pants, he said.