Weather

Southern Illinois counties impacted by flooding will receive funds from the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program to help repair damaged roads and bridges.

Jackson, Union, Alexander and Randolph counties will be among those receiving a share of $4 million to be distributed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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Facebook

The fate of a Mississippi River levee that's awaiting a decision on federal accreditation could put a southern Illinois village at risk of destructive flooding.

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File

The federal government is giving Illinois officials more time to assess the damage caused by the spring and summer flooding.

Governor J-B Pritzker says it's a time-consuming process that needs to be done right.

With Water Slowly Receding, What Comes Next?

Jul 30, 2019
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WSIU Radio

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we hear from some soil experts and a local farmer about the impact of the floodwaters in southern Illinois.

Less than half the corn and soybean crops in Illinois are in good to excellent condition, according to the latest crop progress report from the U-S Department of Agriculture.

That's fewer crops than usual doing well at this point in the year, and is due primarily to the wet spring that delayed planting for many farmers across the state.

The 2019 flood in southern Illinois is going to be a costly one.

In Jackson County alone, preliminary flood damage reports turned into the Illinois Emergency Management Agency total just over $7 million.

Illinois — and the rest of the country — could soon start seeing more days of extreme heat. That’s according to a report released Tuesday, “Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days”— authored by the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

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National Weather Service

The Ohio River at Cairo fell below flood stage on Saturday night.

That ended a record stretch of continuous flooding at 156 days. It started on February 8th. The previous record of 97 days occurred from March to June of 1973.

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National Weather Service

If you have outdoor yard work that needs done, it will be best to finish that this weekend.

The National Weather Service says despite the heat, it will be mostly dry, particularly on Saturday.

Illinois farmers now have until July 15 to officially say they won’t be planting crops this year. A key deadline has been extended for claiming some types of crop insurance.

It's been one of the wettest springs in state history. Just last month alone, Illinois averaged more than five inches of rainfall, a whole inch above normal. It’s been so wet for so much of the planting season, farmers across the state haven’t had much of a chance to get their crops in the ground.

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WSIU/Kevin Boucher

Many southern Illinois farmers experienced planting delays due to a rainy spring and summer. WSIU Radio paid a visit to Dayempur Farm near Anna to see how the wet weather impacted local bees.

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Mayor Will Stephens

Murphysboro's mayor says a strong thunderstorm knocked down trees and contributed to the partial collapse of a downtown building Monday.

Active Severe Weather Pattern in the Region

Jun 26, 2019
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NWS-Paducah/Facebook

We've just concluded a very active severe weather pattern in the region.

The National Weather Service in Paducah says in its 58-county coverage area from June 16-23, there were 115 combined tornado, severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings. That compares with 159 total severe weather warnings from October 1st to June 15th.

The 2019 flood is not only closing some major roadways between Illinois and Missouri, it's also shutting down some popular recreational spots.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says high water has forced the closure of the Kinkaid Lake spillway, most of Horseshoe Lake, the Fort Massac boat ramp and Fort Defiance near Cairo.

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IDOT

An advocacy group for Mississippi River communities says this year's prolonged flooding has created more than $2 billion in damage.

Mayors from river communities agreed Tuesday this year's flood has been particularly damaging because of how long it has stuck around.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

The National Weather Service office in Paducah says its damage survey determined an EF-1 tornado hit Moors Marina along Kentucky Lake in Marshall County on Sunday.

The Mississippi River system is both an artery and a vein. It pumps ag products out of the heartland and into the world while bringing back fertilizer and steel to keep that economic engine purring.

While water levels are beginning to drop along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, heavy flooding has led to the closure of many roads leading into small river towns and nearly 100 miles of the Katy Trail.

This time of year, John Benz’s campground along Highway 94 in Rhineland is normally packed with Katy Trail bike riders. But, flooding from the Missouri River led to the cancellation of the annual Katy Trail Ride and the closure of the highway. As a result, Benz said business has been down about 90%.

With the Mississippi River at its second-highest level in history, Metro East Sanitary District Executive Director Steve Adler has three worries.

The first is people. The second is more rain. The third thing is the most sinister and potentially catastrophic, he said. It’s an earthquake.

Adler tells people who live behind the levees that when the river is above 30 feet, if they feel the ground shake, leave.

“Grab the kids. Grab the dog. Get in your car and drive up to the bluffs,” Adler said.

Amelia Blakely

Throughout Grand Tower the sound of pumps, birds and the river fills the town's enviroment.

With the Mississippi River rising, residents in southern Illinois river towns including Grand Tower are working to keep their homes dry from flooding and preparing to evacute if the river breaches the levee. 

According to the National Weather Service, on June 7 the river was measured to be a higher than 49 feet. In the Great Flood 93' the river crested at 52 feet. 

Andrea Mcmanus and her three children had lived in their apartment in Grafton for less than six months before they evacuated to escape the rising Mississippi River floodwaters.

They left on March 22, as the flood overtook Grafton and began rising downstream in St. Louis. The Mississippi has been above flood stage at St. Louis for more than 80 days and last weekend surpassed the 1973 level, the second highest on record.

Many residents, government officials and scientists compare it to the Great Flood of 1993, when the river crested at 49.6 feet, the highest flood on record for the St. Louis region. Some residents worry that it could surpass that height.

Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling in more reinforcements to help fight flooding.    

Governor J.B. Pritzker has called up roughly 200 guard soldiers as near record crests are predicted along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.   The soldiers are being deployed to perform duties like sandbagging, levee reinforcement and potential rescue efforts.  

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National Weather Service

Already severe flooding on the Mississippi River is getting worse for several areas in Illinois and Missouri.

The National Weather Service now predicts the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau is forecast to crest at 45. 5 feet on June 6th. That's about three feet shy of the record crest in January 2016.

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National Weather Service

Ten years after the devastating May 8, 2009 Super Derecho, utility companies in this region say they're working from lessons learned. 

SIUC Professor Comments On the 2018 Climate Report

Apr 23, 2019

WSIU's Kevin Boucher talks with SIUC Professor Justin Schoof about the 2018 Climate Report, and its potential revelations for southern Illinois.

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State of Illinois

Illinois' governor and acting head of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency surveyed the flooding in southernmost Illinois.

After receiving an emergency response briefing in Metropolis Tuesday, Governor J-B Pritzker said state government will be proactive in helping communities deal with natural disasters.

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Flickr

Towns along the Mississippi River and its tributaries should brace for the prospect of potentially serious flooding this spring, in large part due to an unusually snowy winter to the north.

Since most of Illinois is having extremely low temperatures, southern Illinois public safety officials say if you have power and your furnace will not keep up with the cold and you use a space heater, keep it away from anything that can ignite and burn.

Winter Weather Can be Dangerous for Diabetics

Jan 30, 2019
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OSF HealthCare

For people living with diabetes, foot care is paramount. Minor issues can turn into serious infections and lead to major complications or even amputation.
 
Diligent foot care is even more important in the winter months, when cold temperatures and slushy sidewalks can make keeping feet healthy an even bigger challenge.  

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