Lincoln County Journal

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Illinois Levee Laws to cause major flooding in area if passed

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

As winter begins to settle down and the calendar marks the beginning of spring, Lincoln County residents must wonder if this year, like last year, will bring high waters and flooding to much of the Missouri farming lands. Plan H has been a back and forth battle between states and Missouri isn’t willing to give up without a fight. If Illinois levee laws go into affect, that will allow that state to raise all their levees 0.5’ for construction along navigable rivers. This will, in turn, result in even more water to be pushed down the Mississippi River and into the Lincoln County and St. Charles County floodplain and farming lands.

State Representative, Ed Schieffer said this about the Illinois House Bill 4502 which allows the levee construction north of Lincoln County.

“I am strongly in opposition to the Mississippi River Comprehensive Plan because of the adverse effects related to flooding along the Mississippi River in areas I represent in Lincoln County. If the new rule of 0.5’ for construction along navigable rivers is enacted, it forces water to the lower side of the river, thus impacting farms, businesses and homes in the area. It could also severely damage Hwy. 79 and the Burlington Northern Railroad. Also, the Missouri Attorney General, the Sierra Club and the Illinois Railroad Association all oppose the change from 0.1’ to 0.5’. I understand this will have adverse effects on the lower Illinois River also, especially in Calhoun County.

I do support the current rules which are consistent with most other neighboring states. The 0.1’ rule for construction along navigable rivers is working and changes to the Illinois Flood Construction Rules would allow increased flood damages to neighboring areas, including the current rules on mitigation analysis.”

State Representative, Ed Schieffer has been paired with Neighbors of the Mississippi and working to stop Plan H since it began.

In order to save many of the businesses, farming land, and houses that are currently close to the river, these bills cannot pass. Raising the levees north will cause more flooding than already experienced and with Lincoln County levees facing so much force and not being put under the 0.5’ construction rule it is possible to see a lot more damage and acreage underwater. This four year battle is far from over and the Neighbors of the Mississippi and Schieffer are working hard to protect Missouri from being flooded yearly by this Illinois Bill change.

To read more about the Illinois Laws and Bills see HB4502, SJR0054 and HJR0078.