Flood concerns receding with the water

By Joe Bennett

May 7, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 10:02 AM CDT

MASON COUNTY, Ill. -- Less than a week ago, Riverfront Park in Havana had an additional foot-and-a-half of river water inching up toward Schrader Street.

Still, the biggest impact on the city was economic when the bridge over the Illinois River temporarily closed.

"[It affects] traffic for local people, the schools have a lot of people coming back and forth, the hospital, the doctors, the drug stores," according to Mayor Dale Roberts.

Roberts says some businesses lost up to 40 percent of their revenue for a few days, but the flood had little effect on residents.

"Traffic for local people, the schools have a lot of people coming back and forth, the hospital, the doctors, the drug stores," he said. "We had one person down here had some condos, he sandbagged, he prepared for it and he took care of that and now he's removing his sandbags right now."

A few miles south, Matanzas Lake appears to have become part of the Illinois River, but with plenty of warning signs, homeowners along the beach had time to prepare.

"The nice thing this time is we had about four or five days notice, so we spent the weekend before the water really came up unloading everything out of the basements," says Matanzas Beach Association President Jim Brown.

The few summer cottages with water damage are owned by families who do not typically arrive until after Memorial Day.

Brown says residents don't mind cleaning debris and maintaining the lawn once the waters recede.

"You can take a look. The view is wonderful,” Brown says. “In the summertime we can sit out on our deck and boat and see a great sunset, so we keep coming back."

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