Holding out hope

By Denise Jackson

April 22, 2013 Updated Apr 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA,IL-- East Peoria city leaders with a warning tonight for residents in the Richland area, be prepared, in case flooding breaches the main levee. Many people without flood insurance are worried about losing everything.

Tammy Mitchell has come back to her old Richland neighborhood in East, Peoria, worried about family and friends.

This is my hometown, I've lived here all my life, just moved out less than a year ago and come down here and visiting family and now all this is happening, yeah I'm afraid of losing everything down here.

Rising flood waters from the Illinois River threaten people living in the lowland area behind Caterpillar. Over the weekend the company shut down operations due to flooding. Mitchell's neice Ashley Fernandez fears the worst. Fernandez, her five kids and fiancee packed up their clothes and evacuated their home Sunday.

"We're gonna lose our home, and everything's gonna be gone. I just hope that the flood doesn't happen, but seeing everything around us getting flooded doesn't make it easy," she said.

Outside of their neighborhood in the business district the signs are very clear, along camp street and Route 116 that the swollen Illinois river could continue rising

About 1200 people live in the Richland area and East Peoria city officials say more than half of them have evacuated.

Timothy Strickfaden spent three days packing.

"A lot of people are scared, looters or whatever else. I'm taking everything I can. So I'm gonna clear the house. If it don't happen at least I'll have a clean house to come back to," he said.

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