Edwards hit hard by massive flooding as levee breached Thursday morning

By Mark Bullion

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM CDT

EDWARDS, Ill -- Instead of cars driving through the small town of Edwards, boats can be seen navigating the mess of debris that has basically submerged this town. And while homes can be replaced, lives cannot, something resident Justin May is very thankful for.

"We’re blessed,” said May. “I believe hopefully most of the people through here are blessed that everyone made it out."

Lifelong residents of Edwards recall the floods of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but say this one is the worst they have ever seen.

"When I got up this morning to see what’s going on, it was coming over the top,” said homeowner Bill Plain. “I've never seen it this bad."

Peoria County EMA Director Vicky Turner says in her 25-year-career with the EMA, she hasn't seen anything this bad since the Illinois River flood of 1993. But what she says it comes down to is preparation.

"Everybody knows what each other's function is and responsibilities,” said Turner. “And then we coordinate it, and work together as a group."

So now all residents can do is watch and wait for the water to recede, and begin cleanup as they start their lives all over again.

“Safety first,” said May. “And pay attention to your surroundings, and know that mother nature is mother nature.”

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.